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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Que on April 07, 2007, 06:34:50 AM

Title: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 07, 2007, 06:34:50 AM
So.....here we are. 8)

And just for the record: period performances means the use of period instruments and a lot more, but those interested in the topic will be well aware of that fact. :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 12:44:58 AM
The granddaddies of HIP Beethoven cycles are the Hogwood and Norrington sets.  Of the two, I prefer the Hogwood.  Other great HIP cycles include the Gardiner and Brüggen.  Gardiner's set has a sweeter tone than the Brüggen, whose sound can be a bit harsh.    Of all the HIP cycles, the Brüggen is probably the most radical sounding.  At this point, I think the Brüggen cycle is oop, but sets can still be found at reasonable price from some vendors.  It never had wide release in the USA and it's almost impossible to find here.  I hate to admit it, but I haven't cracked the cellophane on the Tafelmusik Beethoven 5th and 6th.  There's been too much to do lately.  FWIW, the two most popular of these cycles are the Gardiner and Hogwood, with sound quality on the Gardiner a bit better than the older cycle.  The first Norrington cycle is not a particular favorite of mine.  Although Gramophone cited it as one of the most important (or best) Beethoven cycles ever made, I really don't think that it wore very well.  His second cycle with more conventional forces is preferable. 

Zig-Zag Territoires has announced  that that Immerseel's Beethoven cycle will be released in 2008:

This [Ravel Bolero] is the last project of Anima Eterna before the complete symphonies of Beethoven which will be released in 2008 ! As you can see on their concerts’ agenda, many Beethoven concerts are scheduled to prepare this big event. 

Strangely, this was in the information for the Ravel Bolero recording on the Zig-Zag website.  There is no other mention of it at all, anywhere.  It's certainly something to look forward to.

The only HIP Savall Beethoven symphony recording I have is the Eroica which I like very much, but many people really hate that recording.  I don't know if he's actually done more than that.  The sound that Savall gets is closer to baroque than classical; but it's filled with a rough energy that appeals to me.  Good luck finding that one, as I suspect it's long oop.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000004CYT.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00005A9O0.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000057EO.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000418Z.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_AA130_.jpg) (http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000003IHX.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Another thing that we should consider are the hybrid cycles (Dausgaard, Zinman, Harnoncourt, Fey) which use scaled down conventional orchestras, limit the vibrato of the string sections, use either older brass instruments or hand stopping techniques, etc.  Although they don't use period instruments, they are informed by Historic research and practice.  I n er know whether they should be discussed in HIP threads or not.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 09, 2007, 12:58:39 AM
That is rather asking after the well known road Que! :)
Of course you know my choice huh?
Gardiner it is.
The drive and sheer energy, the orchestra so committed, the more than excellent sound.
The only drawback on this cycle is the seventh, introduction to slow, far to slow, and overall lacking the grip one has to have over this difficult symphony. Even Karajan dissappoints me in this work. Most conductors are at a loss with this one!
In fact I do not know of a performance of the seventh which will do for me! Alas!
Hogwood and Norrington, have both there merits and shortcomings, but Hogwood is by far the best of the two.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 01:03:37 AM
With apologies to Todd, I've decided to start the thread for the HIP Beethoven concertos and other works -- orchestral and chamber.

So far, these are the complete piano concerto cycles I have:

Steven Lubin with Academy for Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
Robert Levin with the Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique/J.E. Gardiner
Jos van Immerseel with Tafelmusik Orchestra/Bruno Weil (only available separately - no box set).

The Bruno Weil/Tafelmusik recording of the Piano concerto no. 5 (Emperor) also has the Violin concerto, Vera Beths on violin; and that is the only recording I know of of the violin concerto.

I also have the Arthur Schoonderwoerd/Ensemble Cristofori recording of the 4th and 5th Piano Concertos, which Schoonderwoerd conducts from the piano bench

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000E0LB8G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00001IVOJ.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000062E9.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009WFR5W.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 09, 2007, 01:31:59 AM
This is the one I have Bunny and very satisfied with it!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 01:35:23 AM
Harry, I have to agree with you about the Norrington cycle.  His second cycle is light years ahead of his first in my esteem.  I seem to fluctuate between the Hogwood and Gardiner for the Symphonies as which I prefer.  For the first two, I gravitate more to the Hogwood, despite the early digital age sound.  For the Eroica, I prefer the Gardiner, but not the one in the cycle, but the one on the BBC movie dvd.  I also prefer Hogwood's Pastoral.  In truth, neither cycle is perfect, and the closest I can get to HIP Beethoven heaven is probably Dausgaard's and Fey's hybrid symphonies.  For this reason I am really eager to hear Immerseel's scheduled for release in 2008.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 09, 2007, 01:37:21 AM
Harry, I have to agree with you about the Norrington cycle.  His second cycle is light years ahead of his first in my esteem.  I seem to fluctuate between the Hogwood and Gardiner for the Symphonies as which I prefer.  For the first two, I gravitate more to the Hogwood, despite the early digital age sound.  For the Eroica, I prefer the Gardiner, but not the one in the cycle, but the one on the BBC movie dvd.  I also prefer Hogwood's Pastoral.  In truth, neither cycle is perfect, and the closest I can get to HIP Beethoven heaven is probably Dausgaard's and Fey's hybrid symphonies.  For this reason I am really eager to hear Immerseel's scheduled for release in 2008.

Interesting comments, will act on it, thank you!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 01:39:32 AM
Harry, that's a lovely recording, but wait until you hear the 4th.  That one completely lost me as it used a strange cadenza writtten by Levin that just is not up to Beethoven's work.  I also tend to prefer the Lubin Emperor over that one as well.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 09, 2007, 02:03:18 AM
Harry, that's a lovely recording, but wait until you hear the 4th.  That one completely lost me as it used a strange cadenza writtten by Levin that just is not up to Beethoven's work.  I also tend to prefer the Lubin Emperor over that one as well.

Buuny, I have the complete cycle, only could not find the picture belonging to it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 02:31:05 AM
What do you think of the 4th PC in the set?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 09, 2007, 03:10:40 AM
I'll let you know soon, I got it used last week for $3.99.  8)


Got mine for $3.99 also, so great minds think alike right?

Anyway I listened to it yesterday and frankly it is very good. The orchestra is very small, maybe 40 if even that. There is little if any vibrato and the string sound is rather dull and bare. But there is passion and committment in the playing. You can hear the contrabassoon extremely well in the finale whereas elsewhere it is buried in a mass of sound. I would compare it to Hogwood but even Hogwood is brighter-sounding.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 09, 2007, 04:23:45 AM
Got mine for $3.99 also, so great minds think alike right?

Yeah, we graduated from the same Academy.  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 09, 2007, 06:15:26 AM
What do you think of the 4th PC in the set?

I have to re listen again Bunny, and will do so in this week, and then tell you.
From my old listening notes I read, that I found sound quality good, performance good, and yes the Cadenza was for me also something to be sceptical about. I made a note of that!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: jwinter on April 09, 2007, 06:55:48 AM
For the symphonies I have Gardiner and Hogwood.  I like them both, though I'd pick Hogwood in a pinch.  Gardiner is beautifully played, swift smooth and clean almost to the point that you forget it's HIP.  Hogwood is a bit less manicured, if you will -- the sound is a little more rough, the strings have more bite, they're more astringent and less blended.  The whole point of a HIP set, for me, is to highlight the constrasts in instruments and technique with the more modern sets -- for that reason, I prefer Hogwood to Gardiner.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 09, 2007, 08:05:52 AM
I'm predictably awaiting the verdicts on HiP performances of the LvB middle and late-era String Quartets.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 08:38:50 AM
I think that for Beethoven sq you will have to wait for the Quatuor MosaÏques to finish their cycle.  Their Beethoven is as wonderful as their Haydn.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275U2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275TI.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

And another volume to be released later this month!

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LXISFK.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V42373088_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 09, 2007, 08:39:54 AM

I take it they hit the bullseye, Bunny?  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 09, 2007, 08:47:34 AM
I think that for Beethoven sq you will have to wait for the Quatuor MosaÏques to finish their cycle.  Their Beethoven is as wonderful as their Haydn.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275U2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275TI.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

And another volume to be released later this month!

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LXISFK.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V42373088_AA240_.jpg)



Trust me, Bunny, I'm first in line to be there when the Quatuor Mosaiques finish their LvB String Quartet cycle.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 09, 2007, 08:48:38 AM
I take it they hit the bullseye, Bunny?  ::)

 :D


Kind of an unimaginative set of cd covers huh George?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 09, 2007, 08:51:14 AM
:D


Kind of an unimaginative set of cd covers huh George?

I love the first one, but then yeah, it gets old quick.

I trust the performance more than makes up for it.  8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 09, 2007, 09:16:54 AM
I've posted this already on the Brahms thread, but it fits here perfectly! :)
A HIP performance of Beethoven's horn sonata - with a natural horn - coupled with Brahms and Kruft.
Previously issued on Harmonia Mundi, with Lowell Greer (horn), Steven Lubin en Stephanie Chase.

Warmly recommended! (and irresistibly cheap.. ;))

Q

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00005MNIW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Beethoven-Music-Ludwig-van/dp/B00005MNIW/ref=sr_1_1/102-1450672-8639346?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176142415&sr=1-1)
       (click picture for link)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 10:53:20 AM
I take it they hit the bullseye, Bunny?  ::)

Ken Noland's bullseye. ;D

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 10:59:32 AM
I've posted this already on the Brahms thread, but it fits here perfectly! :)
A HIP performance of Beethoven's horn sonata - with a natural horn - coupled with Brahms and Kruft.
Previously issued on Harmonia Mundi, with Lowell Greer (horn), Steven Lubin en Stephanie Chase.

Warmly recommended! (and irresistibly cheap.. ;))

Q

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00005MNIW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Beethoven-Music-Ludwig-van/dp/B00005MNIW/ref=sr_1_1/102-1450672-8639346?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176142415&sr=1-1)
       (click picture for link)

That's a very interesting recording.  I just found this one at the NYPL that includes the sonata for fortepiano and horn and the quintet for fortepiano and wind instruments , but this one is outrageously expensive on Amazon - used.  Again, the picture is the link. ::)

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000JLFD.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Beethoven-Quintets-Fortepiano-Instruments/dp/B00000JLFD/ref=sr_1_1/102-0186141-5587377?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176148531&sr=1-1)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 09, 2007, 03:42:54 PM
The granddaddies of HIP Beethoven cycles are the Hogwood and Norrington sets.  Of the two, I prefer the Hogwood.  Other great HIP cycles include the Gardiner and Brüggen.  Gardiner's set has a sweeter tone than the Brüggen, whose sound can be a bit harsh.    Of all the HIP cycles, the Brüggen is probably the most radical sounding.  At this point, I think the Brüggen cycle is oop, but sets can still be found at reasonable price from some vendors.  It never had wide release in the USA and it's almost impossible to find here.  I hate to admit it, but I haven't cracked the cellophane on the Tafelmusik Beethoven 5th and 6th.  There's been too much to do lately.  FWIW, the two most popular of these cycles are the Gardiner and Hogwood, with sound quality on the Gardiner a bit better than the older cycle.  The first Norrington cycle is not a particular favorite of mine.  Although Gramophone cited it as one of the most important (or best) Beethoven cycles ever made, I really don't think that it wore very well.  His second cycle with more conventional forces is preferable. 

Thanks Bunny, for your helpful comments. Funny thing is that the Brüggen Eroïca was the first I ever heard! I got it over two decades ago from the library - it must have been just recorded then. For one reason or another I never revisited that recording - it took me a while, years later, to figure out which recording it had been BTW.... :)

Quote
Zig-Zag Territoires has announced  that that Immerseel's Beethoven cycle will be released in 2008:
(..)  It's certainly something to look forward to.

This is very interesting news and given my admiration for Van Immerseel, something to look forward to indeed!

This HIP cycle with conductor Roy Goodman hasn't been mentioned yet, does anyone know it?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000027FP1.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.gif)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Heather Harrison on April 09, 2007, 03:55:21 PM
I have the Hanover Band set.  It has been in my collection for many years.  At the time I got it, I found it interesting, but defects in the sound quality (it sounds like it was recorded in some huge cavernous room with lots of reverb) detracted from it somewhat.  It is still interesting, but not my favorite.  The Hanover Band is much better in their Haydn performances for Hyperion.

I also have the Gardiner set, and that one is now the standard Beethoven set that I usually turn to when I want to listen to his symphonies.  (But I sometimes listen to Mahler's re-orchestration of the 9th - definitely not HIP, but interesting.)  Gardiner's performances breathed new life into these symphonies for me.  I find most performances on modern orchestras to be overly muddled.

I might check out one of the other symphony sets one day, and I would also like to hear the piano concertos on fortepiano and an original-instrument orchestra.  Recommendations in this thread may well end up in my collection.

Heather
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 09, 2007, 04:09:31 PM
OK, well you guys already have a good start, glad d minor provided a link to this, because I had missed it somehow   :-[

Symphonies. I have Norrington 1 (don't care for it), Hogwood (like it a lot, except IMO he screwed up the 9th by taking Norrington's silly advice about playing the Turkish March as a Marche Funebre), and Gardiner (love it to death). And then one that you guys seem to have missed, which is Hanover Band/Goodman. This is a very good reading from beginning to end. And has a very nice Missa and Overtures as a bonus. Of the 4 sets, this one is the most, to my ears, like listening to an period instruments set. It sits solidly in 2nd place behind Gardiner in my esteem.

Here is a nice disk for you, Haffner. The Eroica Quartet playing Op 74, 95 & 135. I have only heard one disk of the QM (who I love in Haydn and Mozart), and IMO they tend to play too damned slow, even though it is lovely playing and sounding. I have the Smithson Quartet playing Op 18 on DHM. It is outstanding, but our non-European members may have a bit of a chore to find it, I got it from Germany, and a private seller at that. I was delighted to pay 23€ including S & H for the set, believe me!  :)

I would like to get some feedback from anyone who has heard the Brautigam sonatas so far. I really need a fortepiano sonata cycle, and they are amazingly thin on the ground. The best choice to date is Badura-Skoda on Astreé, but try and find it... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 09, 2007, 04:12:18 PM
I have the Hanover Band set.  It has been in my collection for many years.  At the time I got it, I found it interesting, but defects in the sound quality (it sounds like it was recorded in some huge cavernous room with lots of reverb) detracted from it somewhat.  It is still interesting, but not my favorite.  The Hanover Band is much better in their Haydn performances for Hyperion.


Heather,
I believe it is a church, actually, somewhere in England. Their Schubert set suffers from the same problem, but moreso. I have trained myself to ignore that issue because I like the playing so much... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 09, 2007, 04:14:01 PM
I would like to get some feedback from anyone who has heard the Brautigam sonatas so far. I really need a fortepiano sonata cycle, and they are amazingly thin on the ground. The best choice to date is Badura-Skoda on Astreé, but try and find it... :-\

8)

I've heard enough to be waiting for the complete set. In other words, I was very impressed. Nice energy and zippy tempos.  :)

They have some at eclassical, but I guess you already know that.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 09, 2007, 04:14:22 PM
As for the Concert of Nations/Savall "Eroica" and Coriolan, It is hands down the best 3rd going, and a fine "Coriolan" too. The horns in the Scherzo are hell on wheels!   :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 05:08:15 PM
As for the Concert of Nations/Savall "Eroica" and Coriolan, It is hands down the best 3rd going, and a fine "Coriolan" too. The horns in the Scherzo are hell on wheels!   :D

8)

Yes, that is one great Eroica!  Those horns are as brassy as a peroxide blond.  It is too bad that Savall has not recorded more of the symphonies; one can only hope.  I haven't heard the Roy Goodman Beethoven cycle, but I'll be on the lookout for it now. 

The Brautigam sonatas are excellent.  He plays a wonderful sounding instrument and as always his play is so elegant and yet filled with the energy and forward impulse that you want in Beethoven.  If he continues with the same quality, this will be a reference cycle for fortepiano or even conventional piano. 

I have ordered a cd of Beethoven sonatas and other music for fortepiano by Trudeliese Leonhardt, but that has not yet arrived.  I am hoping that these will be competitive with the Brautigam.  The other Beethoven sonata cycle on fortepiano that I know of, but have not yet bought, is the one done by Malcolm Bilson and some of his students at Cornell University.  It's costly, but not prohibitively so. Unfortunately, I have heard that the sonatas are done in very uneven fashion depending on who was playing.  I haven't heard anything about the sound quality of the set.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 09, 2007, 05:11:14 PM
I have only heard one disk of the QM (who I love in Haydn and Mozart), and IMO they tend to play too damned slow, even though it is lovely playing and sounding.

Back in the days of Tower I had the opportunity to sample the first of the QM's Op.18 release and after several dedicated and lengthy attempts (over a period of weeks) I simply couldn't find much to enjoy.

Too slow is an apt description of the QM's approach. Almost solemn, reverential, and surprisingly a tad heavy! Not very HIP it sounded.

Much as I adore the QM in Mozart what I've heard so far of their Beethoven leaves me cool.



 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 05:17:44 PM
I've heard enough to be waiting for the complete set. In other words, I was very impressed. Nice energy and zippy tempos.  :)

They have some at eclassical, but I guess you already know that.

George, When I wrote to Bis about the possibility of a box set of Brautigam's Haydn being forthcoming, I received a politely ironic reply that they weren't about to give away the Haydn at a discount before they had recouped the cost of the recordings.  I have the feeling that a Beethoven box set will be a long time coming.  I understand that volume 4 has either just been released or is about to be released along with volume 5 soon after. 

Meanwhile, Simax has just released the newest addition to Thomas Dausgaard's cycle of Complete Orchestral Works of Beethoven, but it's not yet available through ArkivMusic.  They have also started to sell downloads of the Beethoven as well, but I don't know the bitrate they offer it at.  It's an expensive set, no matter how you get it.  It's not pure HIP, but is extremely well done hybrid style performances.  Vibrato is toned down, they use a chamber sized orchestra and the winds and brasses are very prominent.  The Eroica and Pastoral are particularly fine. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 09, 2007, 05:29:37 PM
Yes, that is one great Eroica!  Those horns are as brassy as a peroxide blond.  It is too bad that Savall has not recorded more of the symphonies; one can only hope.  I haven't heard the Roy Goodman Beethoven cycle, but I'll be on the lookout for it now. 

The Brautigam sonatas are excellent.  He plays a wonderful sounding instrument and as always his play is so elegant and yet filled with the energy and forward impulse that you want in Beethoven.  If he continues with the same quality, this will be a reference cycle for fortepiano or even conventional piano. 

I have ordered a cd of Beethoven sonatas and other music for fortepiano by Trudeliese Leonhardt, but that has not yet arrived.  I am hoping that these will be competitive with the Brautigam.  The other Beethoven sonata cycle on fortepiano that I know of, but have not yet bought, is the one done by Malcolm Bilson and some of his students at Cornell University.  It's costly, but not prohibitively so. Unfortunately, I have heard that the sonatas are done in very uneven fashion depending on who was playing.  I haven't heard anything about the sound quality of the set.

Brassy indeed! :D

Thanks for the Brautigam info. I really enjoy his Mozart, Haydn and Kraus, not only can he play, but next to Immerseel he has the nicest sounding fortepiano around. Really, it is only a matter of time before I take the plunge. BIS is not big on the idea of coming out with a later-released box set, so I might as well do it now. 

I looked at a disk or two of that Leonhardt set too. I really haven't heard anything at all by him (?), so I held off. Please let us know what you think when you get yours.

I have a few random disks of fortepiano sonatas and bagatelles. Like Lubimov doing "Pathetique", "Moonlight" & "Waldstein" on an 1806 Broadwood (Erato). He is really quite a good player, but the Broadwood has seen better days (!), unless you are really into that sort of thing, you will probably not care for the sound. However, if you are... 

My favorite single "other' disk is Andras Schiff on Hungaroton playing "Beethoven's Broadwood Piano" (the name of the disk). He plays the bagatelles of Op 119 & 126 (very nice), and then the Ecossaises, the 2 waltzes, a couple Allegrettos, very nice. Schiff can really play Beethoven well, IMO, and this piano (owned for a long time by Liszt and willed to the National Museum of Hungary) has been fully restored and sounds great. I also have that John van Buskirk "Art of the Fortepiano" disk which has JC Bach Sonata in c Op 17 #2, Mozart's Eb (K 282), Clementi's f Op 13 #6, and Beethoven's C, Op 2 #3 (on Lyrichord/Koch) This is a nice disk to have, it is quite evolutionary in its presentation, very nice playing, but it doesn't tell you about the fortepiano used. It sounds a lot like the 1803 Clementi that Newman uses in his Mozart cycle. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 09, 2007, 05:42:52 PM
Brassy indeed! :D

Thanks for the Brautigam info. I really enjoy his Mozart, Haydn and Kraus, not only can he play, but next to Immerseel he has the nicest sounding fortepiano around. Really, it is only a matter of time before I take the plunge. BIS is not big on the idea of coming out with a later-released box set, so I might as well do it now. 

I looked at a disk or two of that Leonhardt set too. I really haven't heard anything at all by him (?), so I held off. Please let us know what you think when you get yours.

I have a few random disks of fortepiano sonatas and bagatelles. Like Lubimov doing "Pathetique", "Moonlight" & "Waldstein" on an 1806 Broadwood (Erato). He is really quite a good player, but the Broadwood has seen better days (!), unless you are really into that sort of thing, you will probably not care for the sound. However, if you are... 

My favorite single "other' disk is Andras Schiff on Hungaroton playing "Beethoven's Broadwood Piano" (the name of the disk). He plays the bagatelles of Op 119 & 126 (very nice), and then the Ecossaises, the 2 waltzes, a couple Allegrettos, very nice. Schiff can really play Beethoven well, IMO, and this piano (owned for a long time by Liszt and willed to the National Museum of Hungary) has been fully restored and sounds great. I also have that John van Buskirk "Art of the Fortepiano" disk which has JC Bach Sonata in c Op 17 #2, Mozart's Eb (K 282), Clementi's f Op 13 #6, and Beethoven's C, Op 2 #3 (on Lyrichord/Koch) This is a nice disk to have, it is quite evolutionary in its presentation, very nice playing, but it doesn't tell you about the fortepiano used. It sounds a lot like the 1803 Clementi that Newman uses in his Mozart cycle. :-\

8)

Trudeliese is a woman's name.  She is the sister of Gustav Leonhardt. :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 09, 2007, 05:53:33 PM
Trudeliese is a woman's name.  She is the sister of Gustav Leonhardt. :D

 :-[  I thought that might be the case, but I just didn't know (thus the (?)) Thanks, learn something new every day. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 09, 2007, 06:28:06 PM
George, When I wrote to Bis about the possibility of a box set of Brautigam's Haydn being forthcoming, I received a politely ironic reply that they weren't about to give away the Haydn at a discount before they had recouped the cost of the recordings.  I have the feeling that a Beethoven box set will be a long time coming. 

To quote George Harrison "I can wait forever, I've got time."  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on April 09, 2007, 06:52:18 PM
For the symphonies I have Gardiner and Hogwood.  I like them both, though I'd pick Hogwood in a pinch.  Gardiner is beautifully played, swift smooth and clean almost to the point that you forget it's HIP.  Hogwood is a bit less manicured, if you will -- the sound is a little more rough, the strings have more bite, they're more astringent and less blended.  The whole point of a HIP set, for me, is to highlight the constrasts in instruments and technique with the more modern sets -- for that reason, I prefer Hogwood to Gardiner.

Your review here, which I believe you shared with me before JW is exactly why I went for the Hogwoods (still missing #9).  I have not been disappointed with this purchase and my wife loves them as well.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 09, 2007, 11:20:12 PM

The Bruno Weil/Tafelmusik recording of the Piano concerto no. 5 (Emperor) also has the Violin concerto, Vera Beths on violin; and that is the only recording I know of of the violin concerto.


There's Stephanie Chase's reading (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beethoven-Violin-Orchestra-Ludwig-van/dp/B00000FDDL/ref=sr_1_4/026-3513017-7395605?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176193006&sr=1-4) on the Cala label, with Goodman and The Hanover Band (coupled with the two Romances). I must say I really like that one. The opening timpani solo is so much more impactful done HIP, to my ears. And that is so important, with this simplest and most all-pervasive of motives.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000FDDL.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_AA130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 10, 2007, 02:34:31 AM

I think its time I've heard my Weil/Tefelmusik CD of the 5th and 6th symphonies. Will report back later.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 10, 2007, 03:17:40 AM

Here is a nice disk for you, Haffner. The Eroica Quartet playing Op 74, 95 & 135. I have only heard one disk of the QM (who I love in Haydn and Mozart), and IMO they tend to play too damned slow, even though it is lovely playing and sounding.

8)



Gurn, you are magnificent! The Eroica Q is now on my shortlist, thank you!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 10, 2007, 03:27:46 AM


Gurn, you are magnificent! The Eroica Q is now on my shortlist, thank you!

 :-[  :)

Haffner, check at BRO. I got mine there about 6 months ago, although one never knows at what rate they will turn over stock, they may still have it. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 10, 2007, 03:33:10 AM
:-[  :)

Haffner, check at BRO. I got mine there about 6 months ago, although one never knows at what rate they will turn over stock, they may still have it. :)

8)




Thanks again! Being a bit of a weirdo myself, I tend to live for things like the hopefully-soon-upcoming Quatuor Mosaiques rendition of the late quartets like op. 131 and 132.

Okay, now you know I have no life whatsoever :D!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 10, 2007, 03:35:11 AM



Thanks again! Being a bit of a weirdo myself, I tend to live for things like the hopefully-soon-upcoming Quatuor Mosaiques rendition of the late quartets like op. 131 and 132.

Okay, now you know I have no life whatsoever :D!

;D

Of course, I would never do that.   ::)

(when is it expected out?)  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 10, 2007, 03:36:44 AM
;D

Of course, I would never do that.   ::)

(when is it expected out?)  :)

8)


You'll be first to find out

after me!

 8) 8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 10, 2007, 06:59:58 AM
There's Stephanie Chase's reading (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beethoven-Violin-Orchestra-Ludwig-van/dp/B00000FDDL/ref=sr_1_4/026-3513017-7395605?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176193006&sr=1-4) on the Cala label, with Goodman and The Hanover Band (coupled with the two Romances). I must say I really like that one. The opening timpani solo is so much more impactful done HIP, to my ears. And that is so important, with this simplest and most all-pervasive of motives.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000FDDL.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_AA130_.jpg)

How is the sound quality on that recording?  Does it share the same problem of excessive reverb as the symphonies? 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 11, 2007, 12:57:18 AM
How is the sound quality on that recording?  Does it share the same problem of excessive reverb as the symphonies? 

I don't have those recordings to compare it to, but I do have the Hanover Band's Schubert symphony set (that Gurn was praising) and I think the recording quality here is superior. However, my copy is faulty and skips all the way through the third movement and the two Romances, so I'm only judging the first two movements of the Concerto!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 11, 2007, 02:19:17 AM
I think its time I've heard my Weil/Tefelmusik CD of the 5th and 6th symphonies. Will report back later.  :)

I heard this yesterday during the Great GMG Crash of 2007.  ;D.

I really liked it. The faster tempos took a little getting used to and it didn't displace any of my favorites, but it sure was refreshing. The orchestra was often difficult to hear over the din of NYC, so I think I'll listen to this one at home from now on. I loved the transparency of the orchestra and boy, Tafelmusik sure surprised me with an intense storm in the Pastoral. the sonics were impeccable. I need to hear this one again before saying more, but so far, so good.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: edward on April 11, 2007, 03:40:26 AM
There's Stephanie Chase's reading (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beethoven-Violin-Orchestra-Ludwig-van/dp/B00000FDDL/ref=sr_1_4/026-3513017-7395605?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176193006&sr=1-4) on the Cala label, with Goodman and The Hanover Band (coupled with the two Romances). I must say I really like that one. The opening timpani solo is so much more impactful done HIP, to my ears. And that is so important, with this simplest and most all-pervasive of motives.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000FDDL.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_AA130_.jpg)
I keep hearing good reports of this recording: guess I'll have to pick it up whenever I see it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 11, 2007, 04:01:01 AM
I heard this yesterday during the Great GMG Crash of 2007.  ;D.

I really liked it. The faster tempos took a little getting used to and it didn't displace any of my favorites, but it sure was refreshing. The orchestra was often difficult to hear over the din of NYC, so I think I'll listen to this one at home from now on. I loved the transparency of the orchestra and boy, Tafelmusik sure surprised me with an intense storm in the Pastoral. the sonics were impeccable. I need to hear this one again before saying more, but so far, so good.  :)


Interesting how the tempos were sped up. Being that I haven't heard HiP LvB, I can't help but being interested, especially in the rendition of the 6th.

I'm getting really curious now as to an HiP performance of my LvB Symph. "faves" (nos. 1, 3, 4, and 9).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 11, 2007, 05:15:51 AM
I heard this yesterday during the Great GMG Crash of 2007.  ;D.

I really liked it. The faster tempos took a little getting used to and it didn't displace any of my favorites, but it sure was refreshing. The orchestra was often difficult to hear over the din of NYC, so I think I'll listen to this one at home from now on. I loved the transparency of the orchestra and boy, Tafelmusik sure surprised me with an intense storm in the Pastoral. the sonics were impeccable. I need to hear this one again before saying more, but so far, so good.  :)

Faster than what?  Faster than Zinman? Dausgaard? Vänskä (only the 5th so far)? All of these new Barenreiter edition cycles use Beethoven's metronome markings and are paced similarly.  I've finally cracked the seal and I didn't find that these symphonies were so fast, but rather right in there with the others.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 11, 2007, 05:33:36 AM

Haven't heard any of those recordings that you mentioned, Bunny I merely meant the faster tempos employed by the HIP movement. Faster than the tempos that preceeded them (Szell, Klemperer, Furtwangler, etc.)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 11, 2007, 06:03:12 AM

Interesting how the tempos were sped up. Being that I haven't heard HiP LvB, I can't help but being interested, especially in the rendition of the 6th.

I'm getting really curious now as to an HiP performance of my LvB Symph. "faves" (nos. 1, 3, 4, and 9).

Haven't heard any of those recordings that you mentioned, Bunny I merely meant the faster tempos employed by the HIP movement. Faster than the tempos that preceeded them (Szell, Klemperer, Furtwangler, etc.)


Listening to the Tafelmusik 6 and 5, I don't find either that much faster than what I've been listening to recently.

Szell, Klemperer, Furtwängler all tended to use tempos that were slower than Beethoven's metronome markings, but that was only one tradition.  If you listen to the Toscanini cycle, the first thing you notice is the speedier tempos which were also observed by some other conductors (including Leibowitz and Krips).  Also, to the best of my recollection, Karajan's Pastoral ('63 cycle) was famous for being one of the fastest (and imo worst) on disc.  Szell seemed to find his own way: faster than Furtwängler and slower than Toscanini.  For big band versions of these symphonies that are HIP influenced, you cannot do better than Zinman or Vänskä (who actually uses the full orchestra, but has such amazing control that he gets the most pianissimo of playing so that incredible dynamic range and transparency result).

I don't believe it's accurate to say the HIP movement speeded up the tempos, but rather restored them to the composers original intentions after being slowed down by conductors who deliberately  dismissed the markings as inaccurate.  I'm sure that everyone here is familiar with the old "Karl got it wrong" story?  For those who don't remember it or  haven't heard it, for years and years it was believed that Karl von Beethoven, the conductor's nephew who worked as his uncle's scribe, consistantly misread the new metronomes that Beethoven used to note his tempos.  If you have ever seen a picture of the wind up metronomes of the type used by Beethoven you know that there is a weight on a pendulum, and the top of the weight shows the speed marking.  According to many, Karl Beethoven was a bit confused and read the (lower) wrong end of the marker for the speed, thus speeding up the tempos from what his uncle intended.  Later scholarship refuted this story, and the performance of Beethoven was correspondingly speeded up.  Problems still exist in the timings of the individual symphonies, especially the Ninth (Norrington's discussions of this are still controversial). 


(http://www.klavier-magazin.de/zubehoer/diesDas/Metro3.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 11, 2007, 06:05:16 AM
Excellent post Bunny, enjoyed reading it! :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 11, 2007, 06:21:43 AM
Thanks, Harry. :D

Btw, the Tafelmusik recording is really excellent.  They seem to get everything right with these two symphonies.  The hall it's recorded in has some reverb, not not so much that the transparency gets muddied; just enough so that the sound of the orchestra gets very good "space" around it and the tympani gets extra punch.  All in all, an extremely enjoyable foray for Tafelmusik into the Beethoven symphonies.  I do hope they go on to complete the cycle.  Next on my listening list is their new recording of Mozart's 40 and 41.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 11, 2007, 06:59:30 AM
Excellent post Bunny, enjoyed reading it! :)



I agree, great job!

Although Harry gets a bit irritated at me for stating this, the 1963 6th is the only HvK rendition of Beethoven I don't care for

That written, the rest of those 1963 HvK LvB Symphonies are the Standard of Standards, in my most humble opinion.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 11, 2007, 07:12:04 AM


I agree, great job!

Although Harry gets a bit irritated at me for stating this, the 1963 6th is the only HvK rendition of Beethoven I don't care for

That written, the rest of those 1963 HvK LvB Symphonies are the Standard of Standards, in my most humble opinion.

Well of course you are allowed your little transgression my friend, but in all fairness, I humbly disagree with you, and am not being irritated! :) by your deviation from the fact that Karajan rules, even in the sixties! ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 11, 2007, 07:17:02 AM
Well of course you are allowed your little transgression my friend, but in all fairness, I humbly disagree with you, and am not being irritated! :) by your deviation from the fact that Karajan rules, even in the sixties! ;D


Forgive please, as this is off topic, but I still prefer Herbert Von Karajan's conducting of Mozart's last 6 Symphonies to any other renditions. The "Jupiter" is probably my all-time favorite piece by any composer, and Von Karajan makes the fourth movement in particular sound like angels are playing the instruments. Bernstein, et al never topped that rendition in my opinion.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 11, 2007, 07:19:08 AM


I agree, great job!

Although Harry gets a bit irritated at me for stating this, the 1963 6th is the only HvK rendition of Beethoven I don't care for

That written, the rest of those 1963 HvK LvB Symphonies are the Standard of Standards, in my most humble opinion.

In fact, despite the potential for transgressing the unwritten law, I will add my name to the list of those who find the weak point of HvK '63 to be the 6th. Otherwise, it is my favorite cycle on modern instruments... :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 11, 2007, 07:24:38 AM

Forgive please, as this is off topic, but I still prefer Herbert Von Karajan's conducting of Mozart's last 6 Symphonies to any other renditions. The "Jupiter" is probably my all-time favorite piece by any composer, and Von Karajan makes the fourth movement in particular sound like angels are playing the instruments. Bernstein, et al never topped that rendition in my opinion.

You know that's funny, but that's a recording that does nothing for me, in fact I always thought that the Symphonies of Haydn and Mozart were outside of Karajan's realm.
But since you like them, I will try them!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 11, 2007, 07:26:48 AM
In fact, despite the potential for transgressing the unwritten law, I will add my name to the list of those who find the weak point of HvK '63 to be the 6th. Otherwise, it is my favorite cycle on modern instruments... :)

8)

Well maybe you could point out to me what the shortcoming is of the 6th symphony, for I find no fault. :)
But I listen almost 14 hours of music each day if I can help it! so maybe I just went deaf because of that! ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 11, 2007, 07:28:55 AM
Szell, Klemperer, Furtwängler all tended to use tempos that were slower than Beethoven's metronome markings, but that was only one tradition.

Thanks, I was aware of this.  :)

Quote
If you listen to the Toscanini cycle, the first thing you notice is the speedier tempos which were also observed by some other conductors (including Leibowitz and Krips). 

I recently listened through the Toscanini Immortal LvB cycle and very much enjoyed it!   :)

Quote
Also, to the best of my recollection, Karajan's Pastoral ('63 cycle) was famous for being one of the fastest (and imo worst) on disc.

Yes, I hear it as a pastoral symphony-at the North Pole!  :D

Quote
 
I don't believe it's accurate to say the HIP movement speeded up the tempos, but rather restored them to the composers original intentions after being slowed down by conductors who deliberately  dismissed the markings as inaccurate.  I'm sure that everyone here is familiar with the old "Karl got it wrong" story?  For those who don't remember it or  haven't heard it, for years and years it was believed that Karl von Beethoven, the conductor's nephew who worked as his uncle's scribe, consistantly misread the new metronomes that Beethoven used to note his tempos.  If you have ever seen a picture of the wind up metronomes of the type used by Beethoven you know that there is a weight on a pendulum, and the top of the weight shows the speed marking.  According to many, Karl Beethoven was a bit confused and read the (lower) wrong end of the marker for the speed, thus speeding up the tempos from what his uncle intended.  Later scholarship refuted this story, and the performance of Beethoven was correspondingly speeded up.  Problems still exist in the timings of the individual symphonies, especially the Ninth (Norrington's discussions of this are still controversial). 

Great story! I agree that the tempos weren't sped up, but rather restored to their original tempo. I was just saying that after listening to the others I mentioned it sounds sped up. Sorry I didn't make that clear. BTW, I haven't warmed to the very slow Furtwangler or Klemperer style, nor have I warmed to the fastest of the bunch. At the moment, I find Szell's tempos ot be just right for me. I'll continue to have as open mind as I can, however and I sure enjoyed what Tafelmusik did in these works, its just that they haven't displaced my favorites, that's all.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 11, 2007, 08:46:12 AM
Well of course you are allowed your little transgression my friend, but in all fairness, I humbly disagree with you, and am not being irritated! :) by your deviation from the fact that Karajan rules, even in the sixties! ;D

There is always the exception that proves the rule.  I think Karajan's Pastoral is the exception, but I'm not sure what it proves except that he didn't enjoy that symphony as much as the others.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 11, 2007, 09:05:03 AM
Well maybe you could point out to me what the shortcoming is of the 6th symphony, for I find no fault. :)
But I listen almost 14 hours of music each day if I can help it! so maybe I just went deaf because of that! ;D

Try listening to a different Pastoral such as this Tafelmusik or Szell's or even Hogwood's.  For some reason this is a very difficult symphony for many conductors.  Harnoncourt slowed it down to the pace of a glacier, and made it boring.  Karajan used swift tempos, but for some reason he just didn't wish to acknowledge the truly lyrical side of the music.  The Pastoral is for me so emblematic of the first decades of the 19th century when the first "back to nature"  movement against the trend to industrialization begins.  Here Beethoven is actually becoming the bridge between the classical and the romantic future, even while trying to recall the purity of the pre-industrialized world. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on April 11, 2007, 10:02:52 AM
Try listening to a different Pastoral such as this Tafelmusik or Szell's or even Hogwood's.  For some reason this is a very difficult symphony for many conductors.  Harnoncourt slowed it down to the pace of a glacier, and made it boring.  Karajan used swift tempos, but for some reason he just didn't wish to acknowledge the truly lyrical side of the music.  The Pastoral is for me so emblematic of the first decades of the 19th century when the first "back to nature"  movement against the trend to industrialization begins.  Here Beethoven is actually becoming the bridge between the classical and the romantic future, even while trying to recall the purity of the pre-industrialized world. 

I have almost all the Karajan cycles, and Gardiner, and Maazel, and Zinman, but these swift tempi you talk about are for me the right tempi, and I think it truly lyrical in the best sense of the word. If compared to the others, I think Karajan still warm blooded, lyrical and very lucid in this symphony.
Well it should be possible that I think this to be. I lived for almost 33 years with these interpretations, I mean the DGG Karajan, and still am mesmerized.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 11, 2007, 04:18:55 PM
I have almost all the Karajan cycles, and Gardiner, and Maazel, and Zinman, but these swift tempi you talk about are for me the right tempi, and I think it truly lyrical in the best sense of the word. If compared to the others, I think Karajan still warm blooded, lyrical and very lucid in this symphony.
Well it should be possible that I think this to be. I lived for almost 33 years with these interpretations, I mean the DGG Karajan, and still am mesmerized.

Harry, we have a saying in English, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  If Karajan is pushing all the right buttons, then leave it at that.  If you ever get bored though, there are some others that we can recommend. ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lethevich on April 12, 2007, 03:16:17 AM
Try listening to a different Pastoral such as this Tafelmusik or Szell's or even Hogwood's.  For some reason this is a very difficult symphony for many conductors.  Harnoncourt slowed it down to the pace of a glacier, and made it boring.  Karajan used swift tempos, but for some reason he just didn't wish to acknowledge the truly lyrical side of the music.  The Pastoral is for me so emblematic of the first decades of the 19th century when the first "back to nature"  movement against the trend to industrialization begins.  Here Beethoven is actually becoming the bridge between the classical and the romantic future, even while trying to recall the purity of the pre-industrialized world. 

Do you have an opinion on Klemperer's 6th from the digital EMI cycle? IMO it's absolutely luminous. I generally don't enjoy this symphony as much as most of his others, but Klemp nailed it for me. I haven't heard the early Karajan, and given the consistently poor opinions I have been reading about it over the past few years, I'm not in a hurry...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 12, 2007, 04:54:14 AM
Do you have an opinion on Klemperer's 6th from the digital EMI cycle? IMO it's absolutely luminous. I generally don't enjoy this symphony as much as most of his others, but Klemp nailed it for me. I haven't heard the early Karajan, and given the consistently poor opinions I have been reading about it over the past few years, I'm not in a hurry...

Its definitely one worth missing. (http://www.bo.net.ua/forum/style_emoticons/default/devil.gif)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 12, 2007, 06:13:11 AM
Do you have an opinion on Klemperer's 6th from the digital EMI cycle? IMO it's absolutely luminous.

I didn't know Klemperer lived long enough to record a digital Beethoven 6th.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 12, 2007, 06:30:07 AM
I didn't know Klemperer lived long enough to record a digital Beethoven 6th.

Or that he was HIP... :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lethevich on April 12, 2007, 07:18:25 AM
I didn't know Klemperer lived long enough to record a digital Beethoven 6th.

Got digital and stereo mixed up, like usual -_-
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 12, 2007, 07:34:41 AM
Do you have an opinion on Klemperer's 6th from the digital EMI cycle? IMO it's absolutely luminous. I generally don't enjoy this symphony as much as most of his others, but Klemp nailed it for me. I haven't heard the early Karajan, and given the consistently poor opinions I have been reading about it over the past few years, I'm not in a hurry...

I didn't know Klemperer lived long enough to record a digital Beethoven 6th.

Sorry, but I don't have any Klemp Beethoven anymore.  My dad had most of the Klemp Beethoven on LP but it's long gone; and like PerfectWagnerite I was unaware that he had even lived long enough to record a digital cycle.  I actually suspect that the cycle you must be referring to was actually ADD rather than DDD as Klemp died in 1971 and the first commercially practical digital recorder was not developed until the mid 1970s.

Or that he was HIP... :)

8)

If you go by what the Hurwitzer wrote (from the Amazon website) he was NOT HIP, but rather very old school.  Anyway, my Dad liked what he had, although he preferred Szell.

Amazon.com essential recording
Otto Klemperer's Beethoven is one of the towering achievements in the history of recordings. By today's standards, these performances are hopelessly old-fashioned: dark, heavy, and frequently very slow. But they are also the grandest, most unsentimental, most purposeful versions in the catalog. In addition, the relatively slow tempos (only in the fast movements--the slow ones are pretty swift) and forward wind balance permit more detail to be heard than in most original-instrument performances. At budget price and with the entire piano concerto cycle thrown in for good measure, this is greatness incarnate.
--David Hurwitz
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 12, 2007, 07:35:52 AM
Got digital and stereo mixed up, like usual -_-

Sounds like one of my senior moments... ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 12, 2007, 09:45:00 AM

So far, these are the complete piano concerto cycles I have:

Steven Lubin with Academy for Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
Robert Levin with the Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique/J.E. Gardiner
Jos van Immerseel with Tafelmusik Orchestra/Bruno Weil (only available separately - no box set).

The Bruno Weil/Tafelmusik recording of the Piano concerto no. 5 (Emperor) also has the Violin concerto, Vera Beths on violin; and that is the only recording I know of of the violin concerto.

I also have the Arthur Schoonderwoerd/Ensemble Cristofori recording of the 4th and 5th Piano Concertos, which Schoonderwoerd conducts from the piano bench
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000062E9.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009WFR5W.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

Bunny, could you comment on the Immerseel/Weil cycle, and the Schoonderwoerd that got some raving reviews? Would it IYO worthwhile to piece the Immerseel cycle together?

Also could anyone comment on the violin concerto with Zehetmair and Brüggen?  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000023ZEM.03._SCLZZZZZZZ_V42459608_AA240_.gif)


Last but not least, another personal HIP Beethoven recommendation:

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000026BUH.03._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44554959_SS400_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 12, 2007, 11:37:27 AM
Que, the Immerseel/Tafelmusik concertos are really one of the best sets I've heard, and they definitely are worth putting together if it can be done affordably.  The only set I would not bother with at this point in time is the Levin/Gardiner because it's gotten prohibitively expensive and the 4th concerto is done with a cadenza written by Levin which just doesn't appeal to me as much.  If budget is any concern, the Levin/Hogwood is really the best bang for the buck as it's been reissued by Decca in a very well priced box set.  Also, the Levin/Gardiner is the set that sounds most similar to modern recordings which is something that it shares in common with Gardiner's Beethoven symphony cycle.  However, please don't think that the Levin concertos do not have their merits.  If they were priced anywhere reasonably, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them as well even if they are not my first or second choice.

The Schoonderwoerd/Cristofori recording is really special.  It's not something for the faint of heart or anyone who is looking for BIG Beethoven.  It's sound is really different from anything I had ever heard before, but the sound quality is excellent.  Moreover, the fortepiano (Johann Fritz; Vienna 1805-1810) has a particularly melodious tone.  One of the things that I really love about that fortepiano is that although you don't precisely hear the action, you can hear how the hammers strike the strings especially in the upper registers perhaps because it's a Viennese action piano which means that the hammers are not underneath the strings. The reeds in particular really sound so clearly in this recording.  I must say that this is something that I needed time to live with before I could really appreciate it.  Now, ofcourse, I cannot recommend it strongly enough to those who are interested in HIP. 

For those who are interested, here is a link to an article by Robert Levin entitled Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of his Time (http://www.biu.ac.il/hu/mu/min-ad04/LevinMOZART.pdf). On page 9 Levin discusses the mechanics of the Viennese pianos which is very informative.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 12, 2007, 11:45:23 AM
Que, the Immerseel/Tafelmusik concertos are really one of the best sets I've heard, and they definitely are worth putting together if it can be done affordably. 
(...)
The Schoonderwoerd/Cristofori recording is really special.  It's not something for the faint of heart or anyone who is looking for BIG Beethoven.  It's sound is really different from anything I had ever heard before, but the sound quality is excellent.  Moreover, the fortepiano (Johann Fritz; Vienna 1805-1810) has a particularly melodious tone.  One of the things that I really love about that fortepiano is that although you don't precisely hear the action, you can hear how the hammers strike the strings especially in the upper registers perhaps because it's a Viennese action piano which means that the hammers are not underneath the strings. The reeds in particular really sound so clearly in this recording.  I must say that this is something that I needed time to live with before I could really appreciate it.  Now, ofcourse, I cannot recommend it strongly enough to those who are interested in HIP. 

For those who are interested, here is a link to an article by Robert Levin entitled Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of his Time (http://www.biu.ac.il/hu/mu/min-ad04/LevinMOZART.pdf). On page 9 Levin discusses the mechanics of the Viennese pianos which is very informative.

I gues I'm going to spend too much, again.. ;D  ;D
Thanks very much, Bunny, for the helpful insights and the very interesting link! :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 12, 2007, 11:46:08 AM
(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000026BUH.03._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44554959_SS400_.jpg)

Those are wonderful performances of the Beethoven music for cello and piano, however they are no longer in print and even if you can find them, the prices are sky-high!  Instead, the [urlhttp://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1&sku=199245]Anner Bijlsma - 70 Years A Jubilee Edition[/url], available from HMV UK, that Harry was trying to find a while back includes these works at the bargain price of £14.99 (delivered in UK).  :)

(http://www3.hmv.co.uk/hmv/Large_Images/HMV/5173532.JPG)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 12, 2007, 11:47:24 AM
I gues I'm going to spend too much, again.. ;D  ;D

Q

That is the story of my life! :o
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 13, 2007, 05:36:30 PM
I just remembered another great Beethoven recording.  This is the one where Daniel Sepec is actually playing a violin that once belonged to Beethoven with Andreas Staier playing a fortepiano equipped with novelty effects.  It's a recording that is as much fun as it is beautiful.  ;D

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000G7EYK4.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 14, 2007, 10:30:55 AM
Zig-Zag Territoires has announced  that that Immerseel's Beethoven cycle will be released in 2008:

This [Ravel Bolero] is the last project of Anima Eterna before the complete symphonies of Beethoven which will be released in 2008 ! As you can see on their concerts’ agenda, many Beethoven concerts are scheduled to prepare this big event. 

Strangely, this was in the information for the Ravel Bolero recording on the Zig-Zag website.  There is no other mention of it at all, anywhere.  It's certainly something to look forward to.

Bunny, I just saw this in Zig Zag's newsletter - Bulletin 2007:

Anima Eterna is recording the complete set of Beethoven’s Symphonies. Release of the box in April 2008.

Other interesting news:

Jos van Immerseel and Midori Seiler start the recording of the complete sonatas for violin & pianoforte of Beethoven. First release in September 2007.

Q

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 14, 2007, 07:46:32 PM
Bunny, I just saw this in Zig Zag's newsletter - Bulletin 2007:

Anima Eterna is recording the complete set of Beethoven’s Symphonies. Release of the box in April 2008.

Other interesting news:

Jos van Immerseel and Midori Seiler start the recording of the complete sonatas for violin & pianoforte of Beethoven. First release in September 2007.

Q



I have been trying to find a top quality HIP recording of the violin sonatas for quite a while!  I've been trying to track down a set of the Immerseel Schröder complete sonatas, but the best I could find was a single cd of the Kreutzer and Spring sonatas.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000025X1G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA216_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 21, 2007, 04:33:20 AM
Actually, they also paired up for Beethoven's Complete Sonatas for Pianoforte and Cello.   I like that recording very much, if not as much as Wispelwey's later recording of the same material with Dejan Lazic.  I haven't heard anything by Komen alone, but some of his fortepiano sonata recordings are available at Amazon now.   I haven't seen them reviewed anywhere, but I must admit they look very, very tasty.  Although the standard has been set very high by Ronald Brautigam, there aren't enough HIP Beethoven sonatas around so these are very welcome.  Btw, the website gives this information about the fortepiano he uses on the Last Sonatas: fortepiano by Conrad Graf, Vienna c. 1830 from the collection of Edwin Beunk, Enschede, the Netherlands.  He uses a different fortepiano for each of these recordings.  How much do you respect your friend's opinion?  Do you think it's worth taking the plunge on his word alone?  Perhaps Que know more about them... PAGING QUE...


(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/39541.jpg) (http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_zjlytbelxr_300.jpg) (http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_orzvvnydjq_300.jpg) (http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_ceklkyhcmu_300.jpg)

I know Paul Komen only from his collaborations with Wispelwey in Beethoven and Brahms... 8)
I found him terrific in the Beethoven set BTW - I preferred the Bijlsma/ Van Immerseel mainly because of Bijlsma.

The Beethoven sonatas are still available and there are two additional volumes. Maybe we could assume a complete cycle will be issued?  I should investigate immediately!  ;D

Q

Click on pictures for samples.

(http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_zyasqkroit_300.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/8851931/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist) (http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_pyyqqujqub_300.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/3743896/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 21, 2007, 05:06:50 AM
Well, I've just added these to my shopping list.  It will be nice to have something to compare the Brautigam to. :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 21, 2007, 06:24:32 AM
Well, I've just added these to my shopping list.  It will be nice to have something to compare the Brautigam to. :D

And look what I found at Amazon.de! :)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ZJF0J89FL._SS400_.jpg)
Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 21, 2007, 06:28:08 AM
This looks very tasty too! ;D
Anyone knows it?

Q

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000059R71.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V46490951_SS500_.jpg)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 21, 2007, 11:25:12 AM
And look what I found at Amazon.de! :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000935U76.03._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44167576_AA240_.jpg)

Q

Not available in the USA!  Rats. >:(
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on April 21, 2007, 11:30:59 AM
This one came a couple of days ago

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000002ZEA.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_V46726617_AA130_.jpg)

(complete Beethoven cello/fortepiano works - Pleeth/Tan)

Not sold 100% on Pleeth's cello - it seems fairly non-descript at times. But I haven't given the discs a fair trial yet, and, above all, I wasn't listening on very good equipment at the time, and would be only too happy to change my assessment. Of course, the last two sonatas are proper late Beethoven and as such ought to be as high profile as the late piano sonatas and quartets; they aren't such imposing works, I suppose, but they have a typically late-Beethoven vein of fantasy which is very special, and which responds well to the livelier timbres of the HIP approach - and it was here that I felt Pleeth and Tan scored very nicely. I'd like to hear Wispelwey in these pieces for comparison, though.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on April 21, 2007, 12:53:47 PM
Melvyn Tan played fortepiano on the Norrington Beethoven piano Concertos.  I haven't heard the Tan/Pleeth set but of the sets I have heard, Bijlsma is the reference for period performance with Wispelwey close behind.  Unfortunately it's hard to find the Bijlsma/Immerseel sonatas as Sony seems to have let them go out of print.  For modern instrument performance, again Wispelwey (with Dejan Lazic) probably has the best recording; I even like it better than Kempff and Fournier which is saying quite a bit.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on April 22, 2007, 02:23:47 AM
Well, I've just added these to my shopping list.  It will be nice to have something to compare the Brautigam to. :D

I own Komens 5 CDs with Sonates. I rate him higher than Brautigam, - he is more mellow and poetic than the often aggressive Brautigam. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 22, 2007, 05:57:40 AM
I own Komens 5 CDs with Sonates. I rate him higher than Brautigam, - he is more mellow and poetic than the often aggressive Brautigam. 

Thanks for this info, it makes me all the more eager to hear Brautigam.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on April 22, 2007, 07:19:44 AM
Thanks for this info, it makes me all the more eager to hear Brautigam.

Both are very rewarding, and of course I intend to collect the complete Brautigam cycle in time.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 22, 2007, 08:01:05 AM
I own Komens 5 CDs with Sonates. I rate him higher than Brautigam, - he is more mellow and poetic than the often aggressive Brautigam. 

Premont, that's excellent news!
Good to hear Komen's Beethoven is worthwhile to check out - I'll do so immediately..  :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 22, 2007, 08:16:26 AM
Premont, that's excellent news!
Good to hear Komen's Beethoven is worthwhile to check out - I'll do so immediately..  :)

Q

they are each on itunes for easy and decent sampling. For some reason, the Cd's are only $7.99.  :o
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: hautbois on April 23, 2007, 08:28:59 AM
(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/17/903317.jpg)

If you like excitement, Beethoven, and a lot of farting horns ;D, this will knock you off!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 23, 2007, 08:32:49 AM
If you like excitement, Beethoven, and a lot of farting horns ;D, this will knock you off!

Excellent! ;D

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 08:55:18 AM
(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/17/903317.jpg)

If you like excitement, Beethoven, and a lot of farting horns ;D, this will knock you off!





All of those are what I live for.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sungam on April 23, 2007, 01:35:18 PM
Will someone tell me what the hell HIP Beethoven, or HIP Mozart means?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on April 23, 2007, 01:38:49 PM
Will someone tell me what the hell HIP Beethoven, or HIP Mozart means?

Historically Informed Performance, I believe.

If you wanna know what that means, it means that the performances are performed strictly in the style of the time it was written and performed on instruments either made during that time or very, very closely resembling the ones of that time.

How'd I do, Que?  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: BorisG on April 23, 2007, 01:57:49 PM
Though not my preference, the Hanford Band has the most HIP memories for me. I thought their Eroica absolutely stunning.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Scott on May 11, 2007, 08:44:35 AM
I think that for Beethoven sq you will have to wait for the Quatuor MosaÏques to finish their cycle.  Their Beethoven is as wonderful as their Haydn.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275U2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg) (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275TI.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

And another volume to be released later this month!

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LXISFK.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V42373088_AA240_.jpg)

I've just reviewed the last of the Op. 18 set here: http://snipurl.com/1k8g6   There are links within that review to my reviews of the earlier two releases. I agree that they are superb.

Scott Morrison
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on May 11, 2007, 08:55:31 AM
Thanks Scott!  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 11, 2007, 08:58:00 AM
How nice to read your review as I already have ordered the last one.  It should be in my mailbox any day now. :)

Meanwhile, I've been waiting and waiting for the Castle Trio's recording of the Archduke and Kakadu Variations.  Everytime I order it, I get the message that it's no longer available. :(

Now that ArkivMusic.com has made an agreement to do licensed copies of EMI and Virgin's  music, hopefully it will be back in the catalog.  Or perhaps it will be available as a lossless download from itunes.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/5138XG3MKXL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on May 17, 2007, 03:15:05 AM
After some encouragement by Premont (thanks for that :)) I went with some Beethoven by Paul Komen.
Well, I thought I had all my HIP revelations behind, NOT quite as it turns out!

Boy, this is good stuff. I'll go with HIP on the piano sonatas from now on.
Will seek out Komen's other discs and try Brautigam as well.
The late sonatas come across as less formal and much more colourfull and delicate at moments. Komen is a thoughtfull and sensitive pianist. Tempi are not generally faster, but do seem quite flexible. In a way these performances remind me most - amongst non-HIP - of Schnabel's direct, spontaneous and colourfull renditions.
But Komen is less idiosyncratic and more considered than Schnabel - who thrives on the moment.

The Diabelli disc on Ars Musici is astonishing too. The recording (2004) is a bit more "spacious"/less direct than that of the sonatas on Globe. But the instrument (Conrad Graf 1824) is marvellous. So is the performance - I sat on the edge of my seat in amazement and admiration from start to finish. Exuberance, excitement, tenderness and reflection, it's all there.

I know, it sounds too good to be true. But I'm sold. 8)

Q

(http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_zjlytbelxr_300.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000935U76.03._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44167576_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 17, 2007, 03:07:49 PM
That's it, the question is whether my wallet can take another hit. :o
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 20, 2007, 07:59:35 AM
That's it, the question is whether my wallet can take another hit. :o

Yes dear Bunny we know it can.  :)

I will get the Komen Diabelli recording as well, given how much I like his sonatas on Globe.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 20, 2007, 08:45:44 AM
Yes dear Bunny we know it can.  :)

I will get the Komen Diabelli recording as well, given how much I like his sonatas on Globe.

That Diabelli recording has to ordered from overseas, and the postage is a nasty part of the hit.  If I could source it a bit nearer to home, that would certainly be a great relief.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on May 20, 2007, 08:59:34 AM
That's it, the question is whether my wallet can take another hit. :o

If there is plastic within... ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Haffner on May 20, 2007, 09:02:59 AM
If there is plastic within... ::)




BOIIIIIIIING! tttttthhhhWWWWHAAAAAACK!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 20, 2007, 09:36:55 AM



BOIIIIIIIING! tttttthhhhWWWWHAAAAAACK!

:o :o :o :D ;D   

Honestly, for such a divinely hip recording (if it is on the same level as his five
Globe sonata discs) there can't be anything nasty about its purchase.  ;)
BTW, I agree with Que about Komen.  His is very sensitive and thoughtful playing.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 13, 2007, 02:35:24 AM
(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/17/903317.jpg)

If you like excitement, Beethoven, and a lot of farting horns ;D, this will knock you off!


The original image is gone now. Can someone tell me what recording or recordings hautbois was talking about? Thanks.

Sarge
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on June 13, 2007, 05:57:24 AM
The original image is gone now. Can someone tell me what recording or recordings hautbois was talking about? Thanks.

Sarge

Damn!  Better pm hautbois.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 13, 2007, 06:06:01 AM
Damn!  Better pm hautbois.

Okay, I'll try that.

Sarge
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 13, 2007, 08:58:04 AM
String Quartets, Op. 18 w/ Quatuor Mosaiques - now have all 3 discs in my collection - just posted on the listening thread - outstanding performances - all reviewed by Scott Morrison on Amazon - looking forward to more in the cycle from the QMs!  :D

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275U2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0009275TI.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LXISFK.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V42373088_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on June 13, 2007, 01:07:31 PM
I posted the Immerseel / Octophoros recording of the quintets on the "thinking of buying" thread, but no one seems to have anything to say, so I'll try here.  If anyone can tell me anything about this recording, I'd be very grateful. 

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XHxtgcPSL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 13, 2007, 01:59:50 PM
This one.
Q

Thanks, Q.

Sarge
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 14, 2007, 05:40:37 AM
I posted the Immerseel / Octophoros recording of the quintets on the "thinking of buying" thread, but no one seems to have anything to say, so I'll try here.  If anyone can tell me anything about this recording, I'd be very grateful. 

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XHxtgcPSL._SS500_.jpg)

That one is among my earliest purchased HIP recordings (recorded early 1990s?), and I liked it a lot until I got the Levin/AAM recording.  It is because not so much of the interpretation, which is very fine if a bit on the neat/discreet side, as of the sound itself, which is somewhat lightweight and bright.  But the cover you show above is not the same as the one I have (same image but different design) so it may have been remastered.  Or is it only a re-release? 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on June 14, 2007, 01:18:54 PM
I don't know if if it has been remastered, but as I have the Levin/AAM recording, I think I'll past this one by.  Or at least until I know that it has been remastered and the sound has been significantly improved.

thanks for the info!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on July 07, 2007, 10:02:36 PM
HIP Beethoven seems to very popular these days - new "HIP Beethoven" threads are popping up like mushrooms! ;D

I somewhat hesitated to post the recordings below on this thread because they are not quite HIP, more semi-HIP or something.. :) Reason is that not a fortepiano is used but a piano.
I post it here nonetheless because it's not a modern piano but a Viennese instrument built in 1845 by Peter Rosenberger. And it sounds ab-so-lu-te-ly gorgeous.

What's important for me in respect to this choice of instrument: it works. The result is very convincingly HIP to me: the balance between the instruments is much better than in modern recordings, as is the blending of the sound. Rhythmic elements in the music for the keyboard are much better served on this instrument with a "Viennese action" - as I understand it, the hammers do not strike the string frontally, but "brush" them.

All this is topped by magnificent performances by Joannes Leertouwer and Julian Reynolds.
I couldn't find any trace of a review - I just stumbled upon volume 1 as a bargain and was intrigued by the keyboard on the cover, and Leertouwer has a good domestic reputation.
I'm very picky with Beethoven's violin sonatas, but these come IMO with the very best. I have Suk/Katchen (Supraphon) as a favourite till now, together with the historical recordings Serkin and Busch made. These are quite different: much more "Classical" in conception, but the subtler sonorities also bring out the "Romantic" elements in the later sonatas.
Found these hugely rewarding - strongly recommended.

(http://discplus.ch/login/1547894/shop/upload/24801.jpg) (http://discplus.ch/login/1547894/shop/upload/24802.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Soundproof on July 10, 2007, 02:29:11 AM
A small HIP triumph, of sorts.

My daughter saw my BBC "Eroica" DVD and wondered whether that was any good.
I'd seen the programme when it was broadcast and bought the DVD. We split the cellophane and settled down to watch and listen.
She's always had sensitive ears (over sensitive, in fact, she dislikes going to concerts fearing she'll hear something loud or discordant that gives her a headache).

When we were halfway she commented that she really enjoyed the raw sounds from the instruments, and was more engaged by this music than she had been of just about any other classical music I had forced upon her.
So last night was quite fun, maybe Gardiner has kindled a fire.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 10, 2007, 04:49:39 AM
How do you like the sound of that performance?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Soundproof on July 10, 2007, 11:37:08 AM
How do you like the sound of that performance?

I haven't listened to the music only version yet. But the surround sound mix for the film was excellent, with distinct details and a natural flow. Quite a feat to not make the talking over the music seem obtrusive.
I've heard this piece in so many versions over the years that it's good for the ears to hear it anew, no matter what. But as I have been hip to HIP for quite a while I quite enjoyed it, thank you!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Soundproof on July 11, 2007, 01:49:49 AM
ADDING

I've now listened to the "music only" version, and wish they hadn't cleaned it up as much as they have. The sound effects and rustle of the people in the "film version" added to the sense of grit that appealed to me during the first listen.
With those gone, the performance seems too close to contemporary performance standards for me to hear it as a true HIP version. Which is surprising, as it is Gardiner and a historically "correct" music orchestra ...

I do, however, really appreciate the sense of intimacy in the Second Movement, which appealed to me.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Novi on July 11, 2007, 03:57:24 AM
How nice to read your review as I already have ordered the last one.  It should be in my mailbox any day now. :)

Meanwhile, I've been waiting and waiting for the Castle Trio's recording of the Archduke and Kakadu Variations.  Everytime I order it, I get the message that it's no longer available. :(

Now that ArkivMusic.com has made an agreement to do licensed copies of EMI and Virgin's  music, hopefully it will be back in the catalog.  Or perhaps it will be available as a lossless download from itunes.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/5138XG3MKXL._SS500_.jpg)

Bunny, it's been a couple of months so I don't know if you're still looking, but the disk is available at mdt (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//5620072.htm).  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on July 11, 2007, 12:21:51 PM

All this is topped by magnificent performances by Joannes Leertouwer and Julian Reynolds.

1st mvt of the Spring Sonata (http://tinyurl.com/2p6po8)
2nd mvt of the Kreutzer Sonata (http://tinyurl.com/3aexal)

Enjoy! :)

Q

Indeed these are special, Que!

Thanks for taking the time to upload.

BTW, the download took a split second! 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on July 12, 2007, 07:52:30 AM
Bunny, it's been a couple of months so I don't know if you're still looking, but the disk is available at mdt (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//5620072.htm).  :)


I actually found the disc stateside.  I had standing orders at MDT and ArkivMusic which I then canceled as I had only received a notice from MDT the day before that the item was still backordered.  Btw, I had emailed EMI/Virgin to ask whether they had "deleted [it] from the catalogue" and they replied that they were not going to produce more so it was officially oop.  Now it seems to be cropping up all over the place, but I really can't complain. I managed to pick up a copy for pennies when used copies had been listed at Amazon for serious money. ;D

I'm also happy that I was able to pick up the Op. 70 (Ghost) which is considerably harder to find as it's not part of the other 2cd set of the trios from Virgin.  That hasn't been reissued in years, and so far as I know is only available in the original Smithsonian issue.  That's also going for serious money at Amazon and Ebay nowadays.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/4148ERS4H0L._AA240_.jpg) (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/55/433255.jpg) (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/5138XG3MKXL._SS500_.jpg)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on July 12, 2007, 08:08:26 AM
I actually found the disc stateside.  I had standing orders at MDT and ArkivMusic which I then canceled as I had only received a notice from MDT the day before that the item was still backordered.  Btw, I had emailed EMI/Virgin to ask whether they had "deleted [it] from the catalogue" and they replied that they were not going to produce more so it was officially oop.  Now it seems to be cropping up all over the place, but I really can't complain. I managed to pick up a copy for pennies when used copies had been listed at Amazon for serious money. ;D

I'm also happy that I was able to pick up the Op. 70 (Ghost) which is considerably harder to find as it's not part of the other 2cd set of the trios from Virgin.  That hasn't been reissued in years, and so far as I know is only available in the original Smithsonian issue.  That's also going for serious money at Amazon and Ebay nowadays.

Congrats with your finds!  :)
Please post your impressions in the coming time.
I'm on the look for the piano trios too! Amazing how little HIP recordings there are... :-\
Maybe the Van Swieten Trio would have a go at them - they would be ideally suited. I have high hopes! ;D

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on July 12, 2007, 08:44:37 AM
I just listened to the Kreutzer excerpt you posted.  What a lovely job they do with that!  You know it's in the shopping cart now. ;D

I have to say that the Castle Trio's Archduke is really very nice. Time constraints have prevented me from listening to the other cds yet.  (In fact, I hardly have time to post anymore!)  I was able to give it a brief spin the other night.  Although I was warned that the fortepiano was a bit muffled in this recording, I didn't notice anything like that.  In fact, I felt the recording balance of the instruments was fine.  So far, I have liked what I have heard, with sound quality not the equal of modern SACD but still quite good, as are interpretation and performance.  I don't know if this will supersede the Immerseel, Bylsma, Schröder recording of the Archduke and Ghost trios yet as I haven't had the chance to listen to those again for comparison.  Worse,  I haven't had a chance to even listen to the Schubert, and may not have that chance for a bit as we are again getting out of the city to enjoy the warm summer.  I'll try to get everything onto the ipod, but I'll have to remove other things I love and I hate making that type decision just before I go away. 

I think Don mentioned that the only HIP recordings of the Piano Trios were made by the London Fortepiano Trio and the Castle Trio. In fact, it was his recommendation that set me off to find the Castle Trio recordings.  I haven't been able to find any Beethoven by the London F/P trio at all.  It's so long OOP that it's not even floating out there on Ebay and Amazon at sky high prices.
 
As soon has I have the chance to listen more, I'll try and post.  Hopefully I won't be running around to have more sun and fun by that time. ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on July 15, 2007, 06:11:57 AM
(http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_orzvvnydjq_300.jpg)  (http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_zjlytbelxr_300.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000935U76.03._SCLZZZZZZZ_V44167576_AA240_.jpg)

I have uploaded some clips (320 kbps) from these CD's by Paul Komen.

Sonata no. 21 op. 53 "Waldstein" - 1st mvt (http://www.mediafire.com/?0zxtnmnlob1)
Sonata no. 31 op. 110 - 1st & 2nd mvts (http://www.mediafire.com/?bmzxvngtgma)
Diabelli Variations - thema & var. 1-7 (http://www.mediafire.com/?4xdyp2nhyxm)

Enjoy!  :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 18, 2007, 03:12:23 AM
If anyone is interested I have the first movement of Savall's Eroica with his Les Concert des Nationshere (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2frymn) to download.

and the second (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2bwnbb) movement

and the third (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2axysh) movement

and the finale (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2y2hqa)

And as a bonus you get the Coriolan Overture here (http://preview.tinyurl.com/3yb4kj).

Enjoy. Everything expires in 7 days.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Tancata on July 19, 2007, 06:32:02 AM
If anyone is interested I have the first movement of Savall's Eroica with his Les Concert des Nationshere (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2frymn) to download.

and the second (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2bwnbb) movement

and the third (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2axysh) movement

and the finale (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2y2hqa)

And as a bonus you get the Coriolan Overture here (http://preview.tinyurl.com/3yb4kj).

Enjoy. Everything expires in 7 days.

Awesome - really awesome, thanks.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lethevich on July 21, 2007, 08:44:12 AM
Thank you very much :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on September 23, 2007, 02:25:50 AM
I bought a while ago Frans Brüggen's complete Beethoven symphonies,
and recently Bruno Weil's recording of the 5th & 6th.


(http://www.jpc.de/image/w300/front/0/7266553.jpg)

It's funny, the first Beethoven symphony I heard on record was the "Eroïca" by Brüggen which got from the library many moons ago... (I was 15 years old). It made a huge impression. Being a novice I didn't remember later which particular recording it was and I purchased HvK's last recording of the piece - which really put me off on him.  ::) 
Only many years later I figured out that it had been the Brüggen, because I did remember it was on Philips and still had a vague notion how the cover looked like. Planning to buy the recording after all, I attended a concert in the mean time and on the program was...Brüggen and the "Eroïca"! And it was an absolute dud - a restrained and uninspired performance. I immediately aborted my purchasing plans. That was years ago and a couple of months ago I decided to buy it after all. So Brüggen and I have quite a history!  ;D

Well, on to the recordings. First some general impressions. I encountered in these recordings familiar Brüggen-characteristics: his conducting can sound too deliberate, restrained and rather self-conscious. On the other hand he has much integrity and is very meticulous: it sounds all very well constructed, with a keen feeling for layering, tempi, transitions and proportions. The music is executed with the utmost care for detail.
I had expected from Brüggen, given his credentials in Haydn and Mozart, whopping performances of the 1st & 2nd symphonies. No such thing - they are nice but also a tad dutiful. Maybe it's nostalgia but I was pleasantly surprised by the "Eroïca" - really a crackling and lean performance. Because of the greater transparency and more flowing and fleet tempi it sounds here particularly less "huge" or overblown and solid in comparison to non-HIP performances. That goes for the emotional side to: this a "Eroïca" with a very human side and of human proportions. I think the 4th is very successful too, brimming with energy. Brüggen gets the mysterious opening right and contrasts that nicely the upbeat section that follows. The 5th is good and finely grained, but is too sober. In the 6th he noticeably achieves a very beautiful clear and softly edged orchestral sound, but in terms of tempi and phrasing it's quite ordinary. The 7th an 8th are particularly successful I think - on the level of the 3rd & 4th, and probably even better. Brüggen clearly connected to these dark, more inward looking symphonies. A serviceable 9th.

Recording is variable - at times quite distant and lacking in bloom, the result being a bit amorphous sometimes - for a period performance. That does impede a true enjoyment of the niceties of the individual colour of the period instruments, particularly the strings - they sound merely as "one block" - and the brass. I can testify to the fact that the recording venue, Muziekcentrum Vredenburg (Utrecht, Netherlands), is nothing more than a big concrete bath tub built in the 70's. All it really needs is a large amount of dynamite to blow it to pieces and never to be mentioned again... :P
But also I think Brüggen's orchestra is too big in several symphonies to get the right amount of transparency and balance between strings and woodwinds/brass. If I compare with Weil in the 5th & 6th symphonies: he uses seven 1st violins and six 2nd violins, Brüggen nine for both.

So what does this all amount too? Not a HIP-epiphany this set - I personally miss more instrumental HIP colouring, and a smaller scale performance. Moreover,  Brüggen's interpretations are for a HIP performance on the traditional, "conservative" side. It figures that this set is often described as HIP that not really sounds like HIP. Though differences are clearly there, but are subtle. 
I think decisive is whether you respond to Brüggen's personality which marks this set. If you like Brüggen in other composers, you may very well be very satisfied with this set - it has plenty to offer.


Next up is Bruno Weil recent recording of the 5th and 6th:

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/msiart/large/0000739/0000739422.jpg)

Well, this truly is a HIP-epiphany! Woooww. 8)
First thing that came to mind when I heard this: Beethoven is home again. What do I mean by that? That I can hear Beethoven as he was, in his "proper" historical and musical context. As a student of Haydn and a successor of him and Mozart. Not a pre-echo of Bruckner that fell from the skies.
It's clearly noticeable that Weil is a great Haydn conductor too. Not that these performances sound "Haydnesque", but Haydn's heritage in several details of the music is recognisable. The performance is small scale and transparent but quite pungent, vibrant with all instrumental HIP sonorities to enjoy. Perfect balance between strings and winds. The sound of the natural horns and other brass are splendidly showcased here. The 1st mvt of the 5th is entrancing. And just hear the strings "humming" in the slow movement of the 6th...Feels "right" from start to finish. Recording leaves nothing to be desired - simply natural and perfect.

I'll be looking forward to the next installment in Weil's LvB series. As I will be in eager anticipation of Van Immerseel's LvB cycle. I think HIP Beethoven interpretation in the symphonies has turned another corner and made a leap forward.

Q
 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on September 23, 2007, 03:11:42 AM
Que, thanks for this elaborate and well considered review. It leaves no doubt as to what to acquire and what not to acquire..
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on November 09, 2007, 05:42:18 AM
Recommended post by rubio.

Symphony No. 2 and 8 from this set. This is the first HIP Beethoven set I hear, and I'm surprised how much I like it. I think Norrignton succeed very much with these lesser known Beethoven symphonies; No. 2 coming up as one of my favourites. I love the woodwind playing and the freshness the speed, tightness and dancing rhythms give. It's so nice to be re-introduced to these works in this way, and so much more or different details can  be heard. How does the style of Hogwood and Bruno Weil compare to Norrington in the Beethoven symphonies? I have heard a bit of Zinman, and didn't like it as much as Norrington. It wasn't as "different"/exciting as Norrington.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411DV3B4M4L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on November 17, 2007, 04:41:58 AM
Maybe I shouldn't have called the LvB 5th & 6th symphonies by Bruno Weil an epiphany - because what I am supposed to call this then?  :o  :)

This is several things in one: an excellent HIP recording of these piano concertos and a "chamber orchestra" version at the same time. On top of that this reveals Arthur Schoonderwoerd as a really superb Beethoven pianist.
The most controversial issue is the fact that, based on research on the venue of the first performance of the 4th concerto - a hall of very modest dimensions in the palace of Prince Lobkowitz where there was only room for 24 musicians, the concertos are performed by 20 and 21 musicians (including the soloist) respectively. One could argue that Beethoven had little choice on the matter, might have preferred a bigger orchestra, and indeed probably used a bigger orchestra on later occasions. I have a simple test in these matters: does it work? And yes indeed - it does!  :D Considering the fact that late Haydn symphonies are also performed by these modest numbers, I find the choice here not out of place at all. And do not fear "anaemic" sound: this splashes in your face! ;D
 
(http://discplus.ch/login/1547894/shop/upload/31113.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/4180561?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist)
click picture for more samples

Let's move on to impressions of the performance itself. These remind me of the happy days of another Arthur - Arthur Schnabel: swift, buoyant, intuitive and remarkably "fresh". Very crisp articulation. Schoonderwoerd posses the art to make perfect transitions in mood: from light hearted, trough melancholy, to great passion - he "digs" his instrument when called for. Let's not forget - with all those distracting discussions about the pros and cons of HIP - that the HIP movement counts a considerable number of top class pianists - like Ronald Brautigam, Paul Komen, Andreas Staier, and I'm now adding Schoonderwoerd to the list. The interplay between the pianoforte and the other instruments is a revelation with these limited numbers. Choice of the pianoforte - A Viennese instrument by Joahnn Fritz from 1807-1810 - is perfect for these pieces: very crisp action, and a clear, muscular sound. Needless to say this is excellently recorded.

Whether you already have HIP or not: this is unique. Must-have.... :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 17, 2007, 05:11:19 AM
Well I have listen to these performances, but boy the tempi are way to slow for me, and there is some heavy breathing going on, and the recording is extremely direct.
Not my cup of soup I am afraid Que.
On a musical level it is well done though....
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on November 17, 2007, 05:18:53 AM
Well I have listen to these performances, but boy the tempi are way to slow for me, and there is some heavy breathing going on, and the recording is extremely direct.
Not my cup of soup I am afraid Que.
On a musical level it is well done though....

Huhh? Too slow?!  ;D
How's that, Harry? Tempi are faster than on any recording I have, with the exception of Kempff/Van Kempen.
Or is that your impression of the embedded MPs sample?
I didn't notice any breathing btw. 8)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 17, 2007, 05:28:28 AM
Huhh? Too slow?!  ;D
How's that, Harry? Tempi are faster than on any recording I have, with the exception of Kempff/Van Kempen.
Or is that your impression of the embedded MPs sample?
I didn't notice any breathing btw. 8)

Q

I found the embedded sample much to slow and careful....
In the beginning of this movement there is breathing, maybe that's because I have highly revealing Bose speakers attached to my computer.
Again very delicately done, and a fine touche.... :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 17, 2007, 05:34:52 AM
I found the embedded sample much to slow and careful....
In the beginning of this movement there is breathing, maybe that's because I have highly revealing Bose speakers attached to my computer.
Again very delicately done, and a fine touche.... :)

Adagio un poco mosso from No5 this must be.  Yes there is breathing before the start heard on my Stax also.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 17, 2007, 05:40:30 AM
Adagio un poco mosso from No5 this must be.  Yes there is breathing before the start heard on my Stax also.  :)

Yo, Stax rules.
Still have a top model at home.
Sadly I am forbidden to use these fine headphones.
Its time that I sell them I guess.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 17, 2007, 05:54:30 AM
Will do after the workout of today! :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 17, 2007, 07:30:48 AM
Yo, Stax rules.
Still have a top model at home.
Sadly I am forbidden to use these fine headphones.
Its time that I sell them I guess.

Why the forbiddance?  That they may hurt your hearing?
Yes, listening to stax phones can be very addictive.  :D

Since my other, more expensive model (3030) is at home like
yours, I only have the portable one (SR-001) with me right now -
very sensual sound compared to the etched transparency
conveyed by more expensive models....

Back on topic, check Beethoven's own metronome marks (if any)
to have an idea of "reference" HIP tempi for this music.   

Before the music starts, I've noticed some breathing as well, but not during.

OK that's breathing IN the recording - isn't that what has been talked about?   ???

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on November 17, 2007, 07:46:26 AM
NOT disputing fl. traverso, just explaining why I said that I didn't notice breathing... 8)
I find the sound of musicians taking a deep breath in the split second before the music sets in, such a regular occurrence in recordings that it didn't cross my mind.

Q

Sometimes I notice some weird noises on low-quality samples. What bitrate did you use?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 17, 2007, 08:07:21 AM
Sometimes I notice some weird noises on low-quality samples. What bitrate did you use?
I noticed you are a Silver Subscriber. You happy about your membership?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on November 17, 2007, 08:23:22 AM
I noticed you are a Silver Subscriber. You happy about your membership?

Indeed, I am happy to be contributing to a place that brings me so much happiness.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 17, 2007, 08:32:09 AM
Indeed, I am happy to be contributing to a place that brings me so much happiness.  :)

Good answer that George me lad....... :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: longears on November 17, 2007, 09:50:29 AM
There've been so many "HIP Beethoven" threads lately I seem to have missed some.  Que's review of the Brüggen symphony cycle prompted me to do a little comparative listening of my own.  I still prefer it, hands down, across the board, to the other HIP original instrument cycles I've heard (Snorrington's first, Hogwood, Gardiner).  I like the transparency, the well-judged tempos (generally brisk but not breakneck), Brüggen's subtle accelerado and rubato, the instrumental balance, and especially the saucy, spicy sound of the instruments themselves, especially the strings and winds (natch!).  No other set in my experience remotely approaches the piquancy of this sound, and no other original instrument set is so consistently satisfying to my taste.  Also, I have no issues with the recorded sound--it's good enough not to call attention to itself.

95% of my LvB symphony listening is to 3-7, and to me there are no weaknesses among these works in Brüggen's set. Unlike Que, I find the 5th particularly exciting, and his comments on the 6th--especially in relation to his praise for Weil's 6th--baffle me, as Weil's 6th seems in many places a close copy of Brüggen's but lacks the spiciness that makes Brüggen's so special.  There's an inexplicable quality these two largely share due mostly to the tempos chosen and their transparency which I enjoy very much.  In relation to Beethoven's program they convey an attitude of harmonious immersion in nature, a basking in soulful satisfaction with the rightness of the natural world--unlike, say, Böhm's famous 6th, which seems to reflect a lamentably stereotypical German march as a tourist in the natural world, or Hogwood's cross country race!  (I cannot fairly comment on Brüggen's 9th, as I've not heard it ages, but will bump it up in my listening queue for the future.)

My other favorite cycle is Zinman's--historically informed but with modern instruments.  This, too, is so lively and transparent across the board that it captivates me as few others do.  On a similar thread there was some disagreement over considering Zinman's Beethoven as HIP.  I think it is, in the best sense of the term: historically informed performance--not an effort to replicate a period performance, but rather to blow off the accretion of nearly two centuries of Romantic bloat and get back to something more like what Beethoven seems to have had in mind, including tempos more suitable for a lighter weight and more lithe ensemble than the haters of HIP are wont to prefer.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on November 17, 2007, 09:59:01 AM
There've been so many "HIP Beethoven" threads lately I seem to have missed some.  Que's review of the Brüggen symphony cycle prompted me to do a little comparative listening of my own. 

Longears, it's good to have another view!
And I found it an interesting one and a good read as well. :)

I'll certainly revisit the Brüggen and Weil Pastorales soon...just to see if I've missed something. 8)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: longears on November 17, 2007, 02:47:54 PM
Listened to Brüggen's 9th earlier today and loved it.  Spicy, impassioned, lively!  The first tutti is a bit surprising, for this is the only performance I've heard that doesn't hammer the leading edge with brass and violins going all out.  It sounds a bit strange at first, somewhat flabby, but Brüggen builds to the climax rather than starting with it, and the approach works when you give it a chance.

I really don't understand why this cycle is not better known and loved, for I think it's head and shoulders above the usual supect British HIPsters, all of whom sound too polished and bland to excite my sonic taste buds.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.  Or perhaps Brüggen is better known and loved in continental Europe, and just doesn't get nearly as much exposure in the US & UK as Gardiner, et al...?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on November 17, 2007, 09:57:03 PM

I really don't understand why this cycle is not better known and loved, for I think it's head and shoulders above the usual supect British HIPsters, all of whom sound too polished and bland to excite my sonic taste buds.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.  Or perhaps Brüggen is better known and loved in continental Europe, and just doesn't get nearly as much exposure in the US & UK as Gardiner, et al...?

Possibly to do with availability David?  I checked and his recordings of LvB seem to OOP at this time.  He also seems to have less than 50 recordings (could be very wrong here) even listed for any works when pulled as a conductor.  However, your conversation with Que does make me want to very much hunt down a recording..
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on November 18, 2007, 07:46:18 AM
Hmmm....$80 for a used Brüggen symphony cycle (5 discs) on Amazon.  $90 for a brand new set.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 18, 2007, 08:09:20 AM
Hmmm....$80 for a used Brüggen symphony cycle (5 discs) on Amazon.  $90 for a brand new set.

Personally I wouldn't pay eight bucks for it, let alone eighty bucks. Brüggen is such a snooze. I have 1 and 3 and they are not even competitive in the HIP group compared to Gardiner, Hogwood, etc., let alone alongside other more traditional interpretations. I just don't hear what the fuss is about this guy other than his cycle is somewhat hard to get. His Schubert cycle is terrible (the 9th is unlistenably bad) and his much raved about Haydn London Symphonies set is no better. Stay away.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: longears on November 18, 2007, 08:55:45 AM
I would take the dismissal above as a strong recommendation--but then pefectwaggie is one of my touchstones, almost as reliable as Amazon's "Sante Fe Listener" for taste completely opposite my own.  Brüggen's LvB 3 is one of the high points of the cycle--I don't know of a livelier, more exhilarating performance, HIP or square!

€42 from jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7266553)  On the other hand, Bill, Gardiner is perfectly fine if you're looking for a HIP cycle and is much more readily available and affordable.  I'd take it over Hogwood, but others may disagree.  In fact, I've Gardiner's Pastoral on right now, cranked up to concert volume and occupying 83.68% of my attention, and I'm enjoying it very much.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on November 18, 2007, 09:03:44 AM
I would take the dismissal above as a strong recommendation--but then pefectwaggie is one of my touchstones, almost as reliable as Amazon's "Sante Fe Listener" for taste completely opposite my own.  Brüggen's LvB 3 is one of the high points of the cycle--I don't know of a livelier, more exhilarating performance, HIP or square!

€42 from jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7266553)  On the other hand, Bill, Gardiner is perfectly fine if you're looking for a HIP cycle and is much more readily available and affordable.  I'd take it over Hogwood, but others may disagree.  In fact, I've Gardiner's Pastoral on right now, cranked up to concert volume and occupying 83.68% of my attention, and I'm enjoying it very much.

I agree with Longears on Brüggen's Eroïca - I think it's the best of the bunch, with the 7th & 8th close behind. And in fact I prefer the whole cycle to Gardiner's, haven't heard Hogwood.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 18, 2007, 09:10:32 AM
I would take the dismissal above as a strong recommendation--but then pefectwaggie is one of my touchstones, almost as reliable as Amazon's "Sante Fe Listener" for taste completely opposite my own.  Brüggen's LvB 3 is one of the high points of the cycle--I don't know of a livelier, more exhilarating performance, HIP or square!

;D  I could have written that myself. ;)  I don't have the Brüggen symphonies yet, want 'em. I did get the violin concerto with Zehetmair just last week and am very pleased with it.

Quote
€42 from jpc (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7266553)  On the other hand, Bill, Gardiner is perfectly fine if you're looking for a HIP cycle and is much more readily available and affordable.  I'd take it over Hogwood, but others may disagree.  In fact, I've Gardiner's Pastoral on right now, cranked up to concert volume and occupying 83.68% of my attention, and I'm enjoying it very much.

I have Gardiner, Hogwood, Norrington and Goodman on period instruments. To me, Gardiner has the best playing, almost too good! Hogwood may well be the most "authentic" of the bunch, although if the Goodman set had halfway decent recording engineering it would certainly be a contender. If I was looking to rec a set that was a sure thing, it would be Gardiner. :)

I also agree with your assessment of Zinman. It (and MacKerras/EMI) are my favorite modern instrument/HIP style cycles.

8)

----------------
Now playing: Orchestra of the 18th Century / Brüggen Zehetmair - Op 061 Concerto in D for Violin & Orchestra 2nd mvmt - Larghetto
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: longears on November 18, 2007, 09:24:35 AM
I did get the violin concerto with Zehetmair just last week and am very pleased with it.
Now playing: Orchestra of the 18th Century / Brüggen Zehetmair - Op 061 Concerto in D for Violin & Orchestra 2nd mvmt - Larghetto
Love that recording, Gurn--my fave, along with Hahn and Heifetz, though I need to give the Zinman/Tetzlaff another spin or two--it didn't grab me as immediately as Zinman/Bronfmann's piano concertos did.

I agree, too, that Gardiner's ORR playing is "almost too good."  It's so damned pretty and perfect that it's the ideal HIP performance for those who don't really care for the "caterwauling" of original instruments.  The fact is that we're spoiled for riches these days and any of the sets you mention pleases me tremendously compared to the stultifyingly grave big band Beethoven of the late-Romantic tradition (typified by Furtwängler) that we grew up with.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 09:46:48 AM
I agree with Longears on Brüggen's Eroïca - I think it's the best of the bunch, with the 7th & 8th close behind. And in fact I prefer the whole cycle to Gardiner's, haven't heard Hogwood.

Q

And this is why I just ordered the Brüggen set from JPC (along with the Mackerras II on Hyperion).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 18, 2007, 10:27:28 AM
Well another dissenter then, I think the Bruggen awful, extremely so, never before in my life did a Beethoven set so disgust me, mind it is my opinion, take no heed. ;D
Secondly I resist the notion that Gardiners set is nice, too nice, there is nothing nice about it, there is enough rawness in the process.
Hogwood is a beast, I mean that's really raw flesh, and I like it very much. Norrington throws high eyes, vivid, razorsharp thunderclap performances, get a kick out of them too. Zinman is just fantastic, have no other words, exact, a rich and detailed sound, with very revealing moments, always exhilarating, great fun. Karajan's big band extravaganza is a thrilling must also, but the boring Bruggen puts me to sleep, much overrated junkfood. ;D ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on November 18, 2007, 10:34:41 AM
Well another dissenter then, I think the Bruggen awful, extremely so, never before in my life did a Beethoven set so disgust me, mind it is my opinion, take no heed. ;D
Secondly I resist the notion that Gardiners set is nice, too nice, there is nothing nice about it, there is enough rawness in the process.
Hogwood is a beast, I mean that's really raw flesh, and I like it very much. Norrington throws high eyes, vivid, razorsharp thunderclap performances, get a kick out of them too. Zinman is just fantastic, have no other words, exact, a rich and detailed sound, with very revealing moments, always exhilarating, great fun. Karajan's big band extravaganza is a thrilling must also, but the boring Bruggen puts me to sleep, much overrated junkfood. ;D ;D


I.M. me immediately should it go in your "refusal bin" Harry. ;D

PW: Be glad to offer you a fair price for your 1 and 3 (I love both of these symphonies) should you want to discard it....though you may want to test the open market on Ebay considering what they are fetching.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 10:40:33 AM
Well another dissenter then, I think the Bruggen awful, extremely so, never before in my life did a Beethoven set so disgust me, mind it is my opinion, take no heed. ;D
Secondly I resist the notion that Gardiners set is nice, too nice, there is nothing nice about it, there is enough rawness in the process.
Hogwood is a beast, I mean that's really raw flesh, and I like it very much. Norrington throws high eyes, vivid, razorsharp thunderclap performances, get a kick out of them too. Zinman is just fantastic, have no other words, exact, a rich and detailed sound, with very revealing moments, always exhilarating, great fun. Karajan's big band extravaganza is a thrilling must also, but the boring Bruggen puts me to sleep, much overrated junkfood. ;D ;D


Karajan is too much big bang for me, so other than Hogwood and Zinman, which I already have - and Norrington, which I once had but only have kept the best of, you would recommend Gardiner?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 18, 2007, 10:42:31 AM
Karajan is too much big bang for me, so other than Hogwood and Zinman, which I already have - and Norrington, which I once had but only have kept the best of, you would recommend Gardiner?

Absolutely, it may be a somewhat more refined sound as Hogwood, or Norrington, but its gorgeous refined....... :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 18, 2007, 10:45:15 AM
I.M. me immediately should it go in your "refusal bin" Harry. ;D

PW: Be glad to offer you a fair price for your 1 and 3 (I love both of these symphonies) should you want to discard it....though you may want to test the open market on Ebay considering what they are fetching.

I long time ago, when I bought this, not really knowing what was coming at me, I used them on a tiny Island before the Dutch coast, and threw them as far as I could in the sea.....
A different refusal bin, GMG did not exist, otherwise you could have them, and I pay you even for that! ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on November 18, 2007, 10:47:15 AM
I long time ago, when I bought this, not really knowing what was coming at me, I used them on a tiny Island before the Dutch coast, and threw them as far as I could in the sea.....
A different refusal bin, GMG did not exist, otherwise you could have them, and I pay you even for that! ;D ;D ;D

Thanks harry.  It was the thought that counts....one man's trash,..... ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 10:59:35 AM
I long time ago, when I bought this, not really knowing what was coming at me, I used them on a tiny Island before the Dutch coast, and threw them as far as I could in the sea.....
A different refusal bin, GMG did not exist, otherwise you could have them, and I pay you even for that! ;D ;D ;D

I understand you very well, - I have done similar things (not into the water, but on a waste site) with awful (IMO) recordings, which I thought were too bad to give away.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Harry on November 18, 2007, 11:04:05 AM
I understand you very well, - I have done similar things (not into the water, but on a waste site) with awful (IMO) recordings, which I thought were too bad to give away.

Yes, that's it......same with me! :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: George on November 18, 2007, 11:12:59 AM
Thanks harry.  It was the thought that counts....one man's trash,..... ;D

Another fish's trash?  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 18, 2007, 12:04:47 PM
I.M. me immediately should it go in your "refusal bin" Harry. ;D

PW: Be glad to offer you a fair price for your 1 and 3 (I love both of these symphonies) should you want to discard it....though you may want to test the open market on Ebay considering what they are fetching.
I found 1, can't find #3 (probably at my mother's house somewhere). Shoot me a PM with an address and I'll send it to you for free. No strings attached. 1 is coupled with Mozart's K550 which is a better performance but not really a standout.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on November 18, 2007, 12:14:17 PM
I found 1, can't find #3 (probably at my mother's house somewhere). Shoot me a PM with an address and I'll send it to you for free. No strings attached. 1 is coupled with Mozart's K550 which is a better performance but not really a standout.

PM sent and thank you very much.  No. 1 will do very nicely and if you happen upon 3 maybe another GMG'r might want to give that a go and also have the opportunity you afforded me.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: longears on November 18, 2007, 02:57:19 PM
And I'm not sure whether premont's "big bang" is a typo for "big band" or if he meant "big bang"--which I would take as referring to punched-up and dramaticized, which Gardiner does, rather simply letting the music speak for itself.  But this, like so much else, is a matter of taste.  Maybe that's why someone like "perfectWagnerite" (whose name speaks volumes re. his tastes) thinks Brüggen's a snooze.  (Though how a Wagner fan could find anything soporific puzzles me  ??? ) Or maybe my taste is just execrable.  I prefer Boulez's Mahler, some prefer Bernstein's.  I prefer Vänskä's Sibelius, some prefer Ashkenazy.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 03:24:24 PM
And I'm not sure whether premont's "big bang" is a typo for "big band" or if he meant "big bang"--which I would take as referring to punched-up and dramaticized, which Gardiner does, rather simply letting the music speak for itself.  But this, like so much else, is a matter of taste.  Maybe that's why someone like "perfectWagnerite" (whose name speaks volumes re. his tastes) thinks Brüggen's a snooze.  (Though how a Wagner fan could find anything soporific puzzles me  ??? ) Or maybe my taste is just execrable.  I prefer Boulez's Mahler, some prefer Bernstein's.  I prefer Vänskä's Sibelius, some prefer Ashkenazy.

No typos from me, when necessary I edit the post.
Now I am indeed very keen on Brüggen, as you may understand.
I know Gardiners 9th, - not to my taste.


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 18, 2007, 03:33:48 PM

I know Gardiners 9th, - not to my taste.


Bruggen is for you then....his 9th is the stylistic opposite of Gardiner's.  To these ears
it has more gravita (or grandeur for some tastes).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 03:41:19 PM
Bruggen is for you then

Thanks, this confirms my intuitive feeling.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 18, 2007, 03:53:42 PM
Thanks, this confirms my intuitive feeling.

I actually find Gardiner's approach, which interprets the 9th as belonging squarely in the Sturm
und Drang
tradition, making more sense of the music to me.  But of course there are those
who like their Mozart d minor concerto with no rush and consider Bruckner 9th as proper Sturm
und Drang, and Bruggen doesn't take it TOO slowly either. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 04:00:19 PM
I actually find Gardiner's approach, which interprets the 9th as belonging squarely in the Sturm
und Drang
tradition, making more sense of the music to me.  But of course there are those
who like their Mozart d minor concerto with no rush and consider Bruckner 9th as proper Sturm
und Drang, and Bruggen doesn't take it TOO slowly either. 

Funny, I would say that LvBs 9th is written by an old and wise composer, and should be played as such.
This is the reason why I prefer Klemperer for the 9th.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mark on November 18, 2007, 04:03:19 PM
On the subject of the Ninth Symphony, has this been lauded yet in this thread:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4144K1B1YBL._SS500_.jpg)

If it hasn't, yet me say simply that this is the most engrossing and surprising performance I've so far encountered. What Herreweghe does with the textures and colours of just about every instrument he conducts on this recording can only be likened to the work of a fine art restorer: layers of historical 'abuse' (man, I am so gonna get slapped for saying that! ;D) are stripped away to reveal Ludwig's masterpiece in all its glorious finery. I swear there are sections of this symphony I'd never noticed until hearing Herreweghe's masterly interpretation. I can't yet comment on Gardiner's reading (it's coming this week, however - I just grabbed the whole cycle), but it'll have to work its arse off to beat this. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 18, 2007, 04:11:05 PM
Funny, I would say that LvBs 9th is written by an old and wise composer, and should be played as such.
This is the reason why I prefer Klemperer for the 9th.

As music can be (and was) performed by anyone outside of the composer, so maybe
its character should not be so much determined by one particular personality as by the
genre tradition to which the music subscribes...no?  Haydn's contemporaries, for example,
would not have approached his late oratorios the same way that the "old and frail" composer
did.  We know that Brahms conducted his symphonies rather fast (for modern standards) in
his later years so perhaps Beethoven wanted it fierce and fast also?   :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 18, 2007, 04:17:24 PM
If it hasn't, yet me say simply that this is the most engrossing and surprising performance I've so far encountered. What Herreweghe does with the textures and colours of just about every instrument he conducts on this recording can only be likened to the work of a fine art restorer: layers of historical 'abuse' (man, I am so gonna get slapped for saying that! ;D) are stripped away to reveal Ludwig's masterpiece in all its glorious finery. I swear there are sections of this symphony I'd never noticed until hearing Herreweghe's masterly interpretation. I can't yet comment on Gardiner's reading (it's coming this week, however - I just grabbed the whole cycle), but it'll have to work its arse off to beat this. :)

Yes "sections" from this symphony can be heard much better in this recording, particularly if one listens in
a 3-D (i.e. counterpoint) rather than the old "melody plus harmony" way.   :)  I must repeat that this is the only recording of this piece in which I could hear all the words sung by the choir without having to check the booklet.
Well done sound engineering. (I hastened to buy Herreweghe's Brahms Requiem after this, but no luck alas in
this regard - that was recorded at a totally different location- with a fuzzy sound).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 18, 2007, 04:50:32 PM
As music can be (and was) performed by anyone outside of the composer, so maybe
its character should not be so much determined by one particular personality as by the
genre tradition to which the music subscribes...no?  Haydn's contemporaries, for example,
would not have approached his late oratorios the same way that the "old and frail" composer
did.  We know that Brahms conducted his symphonies rather fast (for modern standards) in
his later years so perhaps Beethoven wanted it fierce and fast also?   :D

You contradict yourself a bit in this post.

On the one hand you say, that the 9th should be played according to the tradition in which it was written and not determined by the composer.
On the other hand you say, that LvB maybe wanted it to be played fast, so we should play it fast. Well, I agree that the third movement almost always is played too slow making the movement long and boring.

But instead of saying that the 9th was written in a well defined tradition, I would rather say that it is without real precedent, and that it started a tradition itself.

Concerning how much we should respect the composers will - or presumed will - opinions are often divided. I think the composer must be the greatest authority as to his own music. But since we know very little about most composers will, we are forced to play according to the little we know about the performing traditions.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 18, 2007, 06:16:53 PM
From "Beethoven: Impressions of his Contemporaries" ed. O.G. Sonneck:

"In his two volume "Beethoven: Reminiscences of Contemporaries" Kerst begins his note on Sir George Smart (1776-1867) with "Sir George visited Beethoven in Vienna in 1825..." Smart was the son of a London music publisher and the principal conductor of the orchestra of the London Philharmonic Society, to which the 9th Symphony was dedicated.... [large snip]...
On Friday, Sept. 16, we came with young Ries by carriage from Mödling to Baden (to visit Beethoven). [Another snip, in which Smart describes the Broadwood fortepiano, and a long extemporization that B played for them on it]. "Beethoven then gave me the timings of the movements of many of his symphonies by playing the subjects on his fortepiano, including the Choral Symphony, which according to his account, took three-quarters of an hour only in performance. The party present, which included Holz, the violinist, and nephew Carl, in addition to young Ries, agreed that the performance in Vienna took only that time...." &c &c &c.

Of course, timepieces being what they were back then... We can argue the 45 minutes until we are all blue in the face, but ultimately, you cannot say that Beethoven expected this piece to be played anything but very briskly, whether it was 45 minutes or the 59 that Zinman clocks in at. I think it's fair to say that 80 or longer is right out. :D

8)


----------------
Now playing:  North German Radio Symphony / Eschenbach  Midori / Eschenbach - K 315f Anh 56 Concerto in D for Violin & Piano 2nd mvmt - Andantino cantabile
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on November 18, 2007, 08:06:23 PM
"Beethoven then gave me the timings of the movements of many of his symphonies by playing the subjects on his fortepiano, including the Choral Symphony, which according to his account, took three-quarters of an hour only in performance. The party present, which included Holz, the violinist, and nephew Carl, in addition to young Ries, agreed that the performance in Vienna took only that time...." &c &c &c.

Of course, timepieces being what they were back then... We can argue the 45 minutes until we are all blue in the face, but ultimately, you cannot say that Beethoven expected this piece to be played anything but very briskly, whether it was 45 minutes or the 59 that Zinman clocks in at. I think it's fair to say that 80 or longer is right out. :D
  :o  Holy schmidt!!!!
The fastest timings I can imagine are 13/10/12/19, but even that adds up to 54. Tomorrow I shall try to imagine my way through the LvB 9 in my head, taking the music as quickly as possible, and omitting scherzo repeats, and will see how briskly the little radio in my brain can play the piece.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: 12tone. on November 18, 2007, 08:49:33 PM
New to the thread so haven't read it all:

If a performer were to do a HIP Beethoven PS cycle, shouldn't it be done on a piano-forte?  That's what would Beethoven would have had no? 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on November 18, 2007, 09:21:27 PM
New to the thread so haven't read it all:

If a performer were to do a HIP Beethoven PS cycle, shouldn't it be done on a piano-forte?  That's what would Beethoven would have had no? 

The teminology isn't quite fixed, but you probably mean what is commonly called fortepiano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortepiano).
The term pianoforte - or "piano" for short, is mostly used for the modern instrument. :)

Anyway, the answer is: Yes, Beethoven played on this kind of thingie.
Excellent recordings available by Paul Komen (Globe) or Ronald Brautigam (BIS).
To hear what it sounds like, I've uploaded samples in an earlier post HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg56363.html#msg56363). Links should still work!

(http://www.fortepiano.eu/images/2_instruments/1/walter-01.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: 12tone. on November 18, 2007, 09:35:07 PM
I went to Amazon.com and checked out a cd by Paul Komen.  That was unreal.

Hearing Beethoven on a 'fortepiano' sounds so much better than on pianos we have today! 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 18, 2007, 11:16:51 PM
You contradict yourself a bit in this post.

On the one hand you say, that the 9th should be played according to the tradition in which it was written and not determined by the composer.
On the other hand you say, that LvB maybe wanted it to be played fast, so we should play it fast. Well, I agree that the third movement almost always is played too slow making the movement long and boring.


Er no.  I believe the composer actually deferred to the tradition as he knew it.  So whether the composer had become "old and wise" "old and unwise" "a stalwart" etc. - it actually bears only marginally (when he performed it himself perhaps) on the issue how the music was approached at the time it was written.   There may actually have been more personal differences in phrasing, use of rubato, articulation etc. than in the basic tempo used for each movement - high-blown romanticism it ain't yet at Beethoven's time. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 18, 2007, 11:22:59 PM
I went to Amazon.com and checked out a cd by Paul Komen.  That was unreal.

Hearing Beethoven on a 'fortepiano' sounds so much better than on pianos we have today! 

Try the Naxos 2-in-1 Beethoven Diabelli Variations recordings by Edmund Battersby -
the music is played twice - on fortepiano on disc1 and on modern piano on disc2. 
Most people don't know what to do with the modern instrument disc after comparing
the two, since they don't need that one anymore. :)

Among fortepiano recordings Komen's playing is more interesting than Battersby's to me,
but it is currently not easy (and expensive) to find, unlike the Naxos. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2007, 06:54:59 AM
  :o  Holy schmidt!!!!
The fastest timings I can imagine are 13/10/12/19, but even that adds up to 54. Tomorrow I shall try to imagine my way through the LvB 9 in my head, taking the music as quickly as possible, and omitting scherzo repeats, and will see how briskly the little radio in my brain can play the piece.

Yeah, that's zipping right along. :o

I have never taken this account to be literal: i.e. - I think B was telling Smart what his ideal was. But 45 mins., well, the clock in your head could scarcely account for it, could it? But he couldn't have been kidding around too much, because he knew exactly who Smart was, and that he was going to be conducting the work in London, so he wouldn't mislead him, even in jest.

Since everyone here seems to have a strong opinion about all this, I am curious that yours has been the only response so far.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Don on November 19, 2007, 07:11:05 AM
Try the Naxos 2-in-1 Beethoven Diabelli Variations recordings by Edmund Battersby -
the music is played twice - on fortepiano on disc1 and on modern piano on disc2. 
Most people don't know what to do with the modern instrument disc after comparing
the two, since they don't need that one anymore. :)

I don't think I need either of those two discs, because Battersby only does an acceptable job.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mark on November 19, 2007, 07:20:32 AM
Hmm ... not too impressed with JEG's account of the Fifth Symphony. It was recorded live (so say the liner notes) - it would've benefited from the studio time, IMO. It lacked any real bite, went by far too swiftly, and frankly, by the end I'd all but lost interest in it. Compare this with the superb (studio) Sixth Symphony that followed it on the disc, and my God, what a difference. Vitality, energy and a taut line are apparent from the first notes to the last, the storm sequence is among the best I've yet heard, and the balance of the recording seemed near ideal. Strong enough to shoot into my top five, certainly. And so good, I had to hear it twice: once through speakers, then again through headphones.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mark on November 19, 2007, 09:22:27 AM
Since posting the above, I've had chance to hear Gardiner's take on the Seventh and Ninth Symphonies. The Seventh is a stunner - definitely among my favourites. The Ninth is detailed (though less revealingly so than in Herreweghe's recording), but somehow never really takes off. Even the superb solo and ensemble singing in the finale failed to hook me. I need to give it a few more listens before writing it off, however ...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on November 19, 2007, 09:38:13 AM
Yeah, that's zipping right along. :o

I have never taken this account to be literal: i.e. - I think B was telling Smart what his ideal was. But 45 mins., well, the clock in your head could scarcely account for it, could it? But he couldn't have been kidding around too much, because he knew exactly who Smart was, and that he was going to be conducting the work in London, so he wouldn't mislead him, even in jest.

Since everyone here seems to have a strong opinion about all this, I am curious that yours has been the only response so far.   :)

8)
Okay, I just sat down and ran the complete LvB9 through in my head (it helps to be a nerd and have the whole thing memorized  ;D ) at as quick a tempo as I could imagine human beings being able to play. The goal was to go as fast as possible without making the piece sound like a joke. The finale was taken at a pretty much constant presto, and throughout the symphony all passages which could be construed as 'repeats' (well...okay...the only three are in the scherzo) were omitted. My slow movement ran to a stunningly snappy 9:30.

And the final product ... 47 minutes! (very roughly 12/9/9:30/16:30). The first movement was actually pretty incredible - it was dramatic and relentless, though the big recap climax lacked its usual punch. The scherzo was catchy, though it gave me a headache. The slow movement came off full of movement, "propelled" along, still beautiful of course but in a very different way. The last minute or so made more sense than usual (the first few minutes made less). The finale was ludicrous, especially during the choral portions, which honestly make a very convincing argument that, whether it was Beethoven's will or not, we really should stop to smell some of the roses.

...and now I'm off to vacationland!  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Shrunk on November 19, 2007, 10:03:35 AM
Not blessed with the musical memory that brianrein seems to possess, I'm not sure if my comment is going to make much sense.  However, WRT to tempo in the slow movment of the 9th, Michael Steinberg makes an interesting observation in his book The Symphony.  There's a point about 2/3 thru the movement where (I believe) the violins are playing a bright, quick melody over what appears to be a simple chordal accompaniment by the low strings.  At least, this is how it sounds at the usual tempo.  However, if the tempo is sped up just a bit, it becomes apparent that the low strings are actually playing the melody of the second subject and the high strings a countrpoint to this.  I had never noticed this, but once my attention was brought to it, it's quite obvious.  This suggests to me that LvB intended a quicker tempo here than is usually employed.

When I get home, I'll check it out so I can give a more specific description of the exact passage I'm describing.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2007, 10:57:03 AM
Brian & Shrunk, thank you both for your comments. That must have been quite a ride, Brian! :D

Shrunk, I know I have read comments similar to yours, but can't place them right now. But they are to the effect that at the wrong tempo, the actual theme becomes invisible, and could just as easily be interpreted as something else. I'll research that tonight when I get home for specific references.

Still interested in other comments. Perhaps Beethoven was daft?  ???    :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on November 19, 2007, 10:59:08 AM
Perhaps Beethoven was daft?

Ha! I knew it!  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2007, 11:00:50 AM
Ha! I knew it!  ;D

I was only suggesting it as a point of refutation, Karl. However, if you have decided to adopt that POV, I expect at least a 200 word essay to buttress the assertion... ;D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on November 19, 2007, 11:09:24 AM
However, WRT to tempo in the slow movment of the 9th, Michael Steinberg makes an interesting observation in his book The Symphony.  There's a point about 2/3 thru the movement where (I believe) the violins are playing a bright, quick melody over what appears to be a simple chordal accompaniment by the low strings.  At least, this is how it sounds at the usual tempo.  However, if the tempo is sped up just a bit, it becomes apparent that the low strings are actually playing the melody of the second subject and the high strings a countrpoint to this.  I had never noticed this, but once my attention was brought to it, it's quite obvious.  This suggests to me that LvB intended a quicker tempo here than is usually employed.

Oh, I don't know.  I don't think that perceiving the relation between the layers of the string choir there is so crucially dependent on a minor tempo adjustment.  So, I think you need to be cautious about going from "this was my experience" to "I'm sure of what Beethoven intended here."
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mark on November 19, 2007, 12:13:23 PM
Continuing my initial, whistle-stop survey of JEG's symphony cycle, I've just been devoured by his reading of the Third. If you think the recording he made for the BBC film 'Eroica' was a stunning performance, wait till you hear this account. He hammers his way through the first movement, as though underlining in bold that here is the music that changed music forever. Then in the funeral march, he lulls you into a false sense of ... if not security, then surety. You think you know where he's going with this - then BAM! That big, bold middle section smacks you down. I had adrenaline pumping through my body at this point (trust me, headphones help increase the experience here). That sprightly third movement skips along like a flock of April lambs en route to a lush, green pasture, then it's almost straight into the finale ... and by the close, I was pretty exhausted. Whatever my reservations about his Fifth and Ninth, JEG's Third is a powerhouse, and worth the price of the set on its own.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 19, 2007, 12:25:41 PM
Just to pass on a link to Benjamin Zander's article on tempi in B9:
Beethoven 9/The fundamental reappraisal of a classic. (http://benjaminzander.com/news/detail.asp?id=158)
Enjoy!  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2007, 01:08:46 PM
Just to pass on a link to Benjamin Zander's article on tempi in B9:
Beethoven 9/The fundamental reappraisal of a classic. (http://benjaminzander.com/news/detail.asp?id=158)
Enjoy!  :)


Thanks very much  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on November 19, 2007, 01:10:26 PM
Ben certainly talks a great game  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2007, 04:59:52 PM
Yes he does. I suspect that a lot of flak that he gets is due to the fact that his message is quite unpopular: i.e. - all those great post-Romantic Beethoven recordings that people love are essentially not Beethoven. I have shared his opinion since long before I ever heard of him. :)

----------------
Now playing: Orch. of the Age of Enlightenment - Telemann Concerto in a for Recorder and VdG 3rd mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on November 19, 2007, 05:06:38 PM
I have shared his opinion since long before I ever heard of him. :)

Which is to Ben's credit  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Shrunk on November 19, 2007, 05:09:43 PM
Not blessed with the musical memory that brianrein seems to possess, I'm not sure if my comment is going to make much sense.  However, WRT to tempo in the slow movment of the 9th, Michael Steinberg makes an interesting observation in his book The Symphony.  There's a point about 2/3 thru the movement where (I believe) the violins are playing a bright, quick melody over what appears to be a simple chordal accompaniment by the low strings.  At least, this is how it sounds at the usual tempo.  However, if the tempo is sped up just a bit, it becomes apparent that the low strings are actually playing the melody of the second subject and the high strings a countrpoint to this.  I had never noticed this, but once my attention was brought to it, it's quite obvious.  This suggests to me that LvB intended a quicker tempo here than is usually employed.

When I get home, I'll check it out so I can give a more specific description of the exact passage I'm describing.

OK, I know I shouldn't have relied on my memory:  the "accompaniment" is actually played by the winds, not the strings, and it's the main theme that's played.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2007, 05:14:36 PM
OK, I know I shouldn't have relied on my memory:  the "accompaniment" is actually played by the winds, not the strings, and it's the main theme that's played.

Shrunk,
If you haven't read the doc that this links, you really should do. It addresses the section you are talking about, and a lot of other related topics as well.

Just to pass on a link to Benjamin Zander's article on tempi in B9:
Beethoven 9/The fundamental reappraisal of a classic. (http://benjaminzander.com/news/detail.asp?id=158)
Enjoy!  :)


Quite interesting, actually. :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:  Orchestra of Brittany / Sanderling - Méhul Overture to Melidore et Phrosine
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on November 19, 2007, 05:23:04 PM

Quote from: fl.traverso
Just to pass on a link to Benjamin Zander's article on tempi in B9:
Beethoven 9/The fundamental reappraisal of a classic.
Enjoy!


Quite interesting, actually. :)

8)

Fiendishly interesting, really.  Don't tell Toscanini; it would kill him!  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2007, 05:37:50 PM


Quite interesting, actually. :)

8)


Fiendishly interesting, really.  Don't tell Toscanini; it would kill him!  ;D

Oh, would that it were so... :D

----------------
Now playing: Orchestra of Brittany / Sanderling - Méhul Overture to La Chasse du Jeune Henri
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 20, 2007, 01:29:59 AM
Thanks very much  :)

You are welcome - I found this through a post by Rod at his own website.  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on November 23, 2007, 06:25:28 AM
You are welcome - I found this through a post by Rod at his own website.  ;)

THE place to go for HIP Beethoven ;-)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 23, 2007, 09:51:27 AM
THE place to go for HIP Beethoven ;-)

Indeed.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bogey on November 23, 2007, 10:16:06 PM
Just in case it gets buried on the listening thread, here was my initial reaction to:

Beethoven Symphony No. 1
Brüggen/Orchestra of the 18th Century
Philips

I can see why some may not enjoy this Brüggen recording, but I am finding the percussion and strings fascinating.  The percussion actually has some "umph" and is afforded this display of power on the recording thanks to, I am guessing, the folks running the board.  The entire string section seems to be welded together giving the performance a very deep and driven tone without the brass taken up too much of the room.  It definitely is an example that displays that HIP does not always equate to a "lighter" and "airier" account and the 4th movement drives this point home with moments that has you worrying that a baseball bat is being swung close to your head.

I have nothing comparable to it on the shelf and am enjoying it thouroughly, as is my wife.   

Thanks again PerfectWagnerite.  Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: longears on November 25, 2007, 11:30:40 AM
This HIP Beethoven thread started me doing some comparative listening recently.  Does anyone know a thoroughly satisfying HIP original instrument recording of the 9th?  The real problem for me is in the choral movement.  Brüggen's soloists are great but the chorus drags like a sea anchor on the music's propulsion and sounds as if they're singing though wool scarves.  Gardiner's chorus is terrific but Gilles Cachemaille is just atrocious--so bad it's a wonder he wasn't hanged for murdering Beethoven during the recording session!  Neither soloists nor chorus are anything special with Hogwood, Snorrington's march drags like a death march, and that's where my experience ends. 

Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 25, 2007, 01:59:56 PM
This HIP Beethoven thread started me doing some comparative listening recently.  Does anyone know a thoroughly satisfying HIP original instrument recording of the 9th?  The real problem for me is in the choral movement.  Brüggen's soloists are great but the chorus drags like a sea anchor on the music's propulsion and sounds as if they're singing though wool scarves.  Gardiner's chorus is terrific but Gilles Cachemaille is just atrocious--so bad it's a wonder he wasn't hanged for murdering Beethoven during the recording session!  Neither soloists nor chorus are anything special with Hogwood, Snorrington's march drags like a death march, and that's where my experience ends. 

Any suggestions?

No, Gardiner's is the best of the bunch, but as you say, the one soloist is less than stellar. I expect to receive Herreweghe in tomorrow's post, and should be able to get back to you on it in a few days. I would add that Goodman's choral section, while not bad, is rather undistinguished also, so that runs the gamut for me. Now, if you took the soloists from Karajan '63 and coupled them with the Monteverdi Choir... :D

8)

----------------
Now playing:  Quattuor Ludwig - Chausson String Quartet in c 2nd mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Keemun on November 25, 2007, 05:41:06 PM
This HIP Beethoven thread started me doing some comparative listening recently.  Does anyone know a thoroughly satisfying HIP original instrument recording of the 9th?  The real problem for me is in the choral movement.  Brüggen's soloists are great but the chorus drags like a sea anchor on the music's propulsion and sounds as if they're singing though wool scarves.  Gardiner's chorus is terrific but Gilles Cachemaille is just atrocious--so bad it's a wonder he wasn't hanged for murdering Beethoven during the recording session!  Neither soloists nor chorus are anything special with Hogwood, Snorrington's march drags like a death march, and that's where my experience ends. 

Any suggestions?

The only HIP version of Beethoven's Ninth that I've heard is Herreweghe's, so my experience is limited.  I've listened to it one and a half times so far, and liked it.  I got it based on a review by Mark, so perhaps he can elaborate on the Herreweghe recording.  ;D  I just got Norrington's new recording with SWR-Stuttgart, but haven't listened to it yet.  I'll report back after I've heard it. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 30, 2007, 07:49:06 PM
Just to pass on a link to Benjamin Zander's article on tempi in B9:
Beethoven 9/The fundamental reappraisal of a classic. (http://benjaminzander.com/news/detail.asp?id=158)
Enjoy!  :)

Some of what Zander says makes sense but a lot of it is just his opinion based on no scholaship whatsoever. I don't care how many beats to the bar you beat or how many beats you beat per x number of bars, the opening, if taken at quarter note = 88 just sounds too fast.

Regarding the trio section of the 2nd movement Zander somehow makes it sound like HE is one of the few who advocates the tempo where the whole note = 116. Uhhh, hello? My copy of the score is from 1989 and is a reprint of the original Verlag score and guess what ? It already has whole note = 116 for the trio section. So what's the contraversy here? Again it's Ben making something out to be an issue where the issue has clearly been resolved. And he quotes Stravinsky because Stravinsky felt that if the HALF note = 116 is too slow. No scholarship whatsover, just the way Stravinsky feels.

Now we get to the infamous alia marcia section of the final movement where supposedly Beethoven wrote in his notes: "84 6/8" and thus Zander claims that the 84 refers to the whole bar instead of to the dotted quarter. Now I think it works equally well both ways. Personally a march should be more akin to the dotted quarter getting the beat and not the dotted half. Ben makes it out to be "grotesque" if the slower tempo is used.

I don't know, I just think he is blowing hot air.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on November 30, 2007, 09:38:00 PM
I don't know, I just think he is blowing hot air.

I think he has as much right to blow hot air as you do.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on January 01, 2008, 01:17:29 AM
Recommended posts. Q

Beethoven: Piano Concertos #1-5 by Melvyn Tan, Roger Norrington, London Classical Players BOX SET.

What do you think about this set ? I want to buy it, but want to know any opinions...


(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=20.0;attach=5991;image)


I find Norrington's Beethoven contributions generally interesting, sometimes quirky and provocative, but usually stimulating, but these performances really aren't that interesting because Mr. Tan simply doesn't live up to the musical challenges of the solo parts. The overall impression is somebody banging around on a wimpy sounding fortepiano for a while. Kind of like the cliché a lot of people have of period performance. Here it is true. I don't even remember any specific musical details from these performances.

On the other hand, while I found Gardiner's readings of the symphonies streamlined and featureless, he has by far the better soloist in his recordings of the concertos in Robert Levin. Levin is a brilliant and stylistically very secure pianist who really understands the classical style.

So, if you want to hear these concertos on period instruments, you should definitely seek his recordings out.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z8B5E5RBL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on January 01, 2008, 01:21:08 AM
More. Q


Revelatory performances of Beethoven's concertos 4 and 5 with Arthur Schoonwoerden and the Cristofori ensemble.
(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/93/607493.jpg)

This extraordinary disc has already been much touted in those pages, and thanks to all the hoopla I was moved into buying it.

It pushes the limits of HIP to its inner and outer limits. I've not heard a performance  that so completely espouses the performing conditions Beethoven may have known in his day. The extremely perceptive notes mention that the fourth concerto was premiered in the music room of Prince Lobkowitz' viennese palace. The room measurements are: 16m x 7m with 7.5m high ceilings. 24 musicians could assemble on the platform and there was seating for an audience of 18 :o. Consequently, given the instrumentation, strings had to number only a handful of players (pianoforte, winds, brass and timpani occupying the rest of the space).

Further to these spatial and instrumental requirements, Schoonderwoerd mentions that such a small enclosure allowed for resonating and brightly lit acoustical conditions, so that a pair of violins or cellos projected and cut through the full texture without any problem. Well, that assumption is magnificently brought out in this recording (although it's not recorded in the Lobkowitz room). Also, manuscripts and early copies of the concertos have a figured bass part, implying that the piano effectively participated in the orchestral commentaries. The sonic fabric is so entirely different as to make any comparison game entirely futile. These are essentially new, totally different works than what one hears in modern performances. The bigger piano and large orchestra were brought by Liszt; his championiong helped ressuscitate Beethoven's concertos, which had disappeared from the concert scene after Beethoven's death.

I have to say that the result convinces more in 4 than in 5. The latter work is on a grander scale, and that is attained through longer musical phrases, more emphatic rythms, and it suggests an altogether bigger soundstage. Performing conditions were still the same when it was composed, so it can be argued that Beethoven was pushing the limits of his time's musical conventions. Whatever the reason, there is less stylistic difference between this authentic performance of the Emperor than the ones that were to come. The more linear musical discourse and bigger paragraphs seem better suited to the modern concert grand and large orchestra than the intimate, harmonically quirky G major work. Indeed, in this work I was often reminded of the kind of unsettled, questing and angst-ridden gestures familiar from C.P.E Bach's own keyboard works.

Schoonderwoerd plays and conducts brilliantly. His viennese 1810 pianoforte has a rather clangorous upper range, so that rapidfire passagework in the treble sometimes sound like a carillon. OTOH it has a big, tight and densely focused bass that revels in Beethoven's powerful left-hand writing. Magnificent!


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on January 06, 2008, 03:36:55 AM
Ooooohhh!  :o  :o
Could someone pinch me, because I can't believe that my wish for (what will hopefully amount to) a complete cycle of HIP LvB pianotrios finally will come true.  :) :)

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/08/1012608.jpg) (http://www.harmoniamundi.com/usa/album_fiche.php?album_id=1215)

Stunning! Marvelous! Yes, I like it. ;D
I just discovered that this is no occasional trio, assembled just for this recording, but that Andreas Staier (fp), Daniel Sepec (vln) and Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello) have been performing trios by Haydn, Hummel and LvB together for some years now. And they show for it by being perfectly attuned to each other - chamber music as it should be: an intimate and intense musical conversation between friends.
As for what HIP does to these pieces, I think the biggest change is the role of the (forte)piano in this. Soundwise the softer edged and sonorous "lows" and the bell-like "highs" of Staier's Viennese Graf from 1825 blend in with the sound of the strings in a significantly different way. On top of that he doesn't have to hold back in fear of "drowning" the strings. And Staier indeed doesn't hold back when edge-of-your-seat excitement is called for, which results in natural and invigorating music making that occasionally pushes the boundaries - an important characteristic of LvB's music. Staier's playing is, despite the mentioned strong approach, meticulous and carefully balanced and nuanced. Sepec tone is centered and firm, with expressive playing. Queyras shines in the "Geister" ("Ghost") Trio: warm, subtle and impulsive.
I think that the performance of the op. 1, nr. 3 surpasses as a performance all other performances I know. Musically the "Geister" Trio is that good that it matches the greatness of the Istomin/Fuchs/Casals recording at the '53 Prades Festival (Sony - Casals Edition), but here with the obvious advantage of period instruments.
Oh, yes - I almost forgot: the Hummel is a nice entertaining piece, with a nice appropiate use of the extra "percussive" effects on the Graf by Staier in the final chords.

More please! 8)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Maciek on January 06, 2008, 05:05:40 AM
(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/08/1012608.jpg) (http://www.harmoniamundi.com/usa/album_fiche.php?album_id=1215)

Stunning! Marvelous! Yes, I like it. ;D

Hello!

Just dropped in to say I absolutely share Que's enthusiasm for that disc!

Carry on...

Bye,
Maciek
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on January 07, 2008, 03:10:38 AM
(http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_zyasqkroit_300.jpg)

I just got this - the last of Paul Komen's LvB sonatas (on Globe (http://www.globerecords.nl/index.html) - 5 discs to date) I didn't have yet.
I find it particularly difficult to give usefull comments on the performance of LvB sonatas - something only our Todd manages to do so successfully. Let's just say that these performances deserve to be heard and I find them on par with the best. Paul Komen has an IMO rare combination of a "fresh" spontaneous, seemingly improvisational approach, and judicious sensibility. He is prepared to take risks and at times pushes the capabilities of the instrument (he uses different fortepianos - all Viennese) to the edge - which I find wholly appropriate in LvB. On the other hand he stuns with delightful sensitive phrasing. By the sound of it he has given the character of each sonatas and the relation between the movements much consideration. Each sonata feels as a tightly connected and balanced whole.

I guess you guys should hear some for yourselves. I've uploaded the entire sonata no. 27, op. 90 as a single track. Would be interested in any comments!  :) UPLOAD HERE (http://www.mediafire.com/?93imtmnxxvz) (AAC 320 kbps)

BTW Paul Komen's LvB sonatas discs are distributed in the USA and can purchased directly at $15 each from Forte Distribution (http://www.shopforte.com/advanced_search_result.php?search_in_description=1&keywords=komen+beethoven&x=0&y=0).

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on January 07, 2008, 04:30:48 AM
(http://www.globerecords.nl/catalogue/images/thumb_zyasqkroit_300.jpg)


I bought this CD years ago. There is already a track from this in the fortepiano topic at my site. A mixed bag from Komen, I don't like the Op81a, a bit sloppy. Op79 and 90 could have had a bit more zip too but not bad. Op78 is my favourite performance from this disk, he plays the second movement particularly well.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on January 07, 2008, 05:55:07 AM
I bought this CD years ago. There is already a track from this in the fortepiano topic at my site. A mixed bag from Komen, I don't like the Op81a, a bit sloppy. Op79 and 90 could have had a bit more zip too but not bad. Op78 is my favourite performance from this disk, he plays the second movement particularly well.

Do you like Brautigam's LvB sonatas better?

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on January 07, 2008, 05:58:18 AM
Do you like Brautigam's LvB sonatas better?
Q

They are a mixed bag too from what I have heard. I've got so many Beethoven fp recordings already I don't really need to buy his latest releases in any case (I've heard most of them).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on January 10, 2008, 12:30:27 AM
They are a mixed bag too from what I have heard. I've got so many Beethoven fp recordings already I don't really need to buy his latest releases in any case (I've heard most of them).

I was under the impression there is not that many LvB fortepiano recordings around, besides the ongoing cycles by Brautigam and Komen?

Bear with me: the multi-performer cycle on Claves, a cycle by Badura-Skoda on Astrée (not my taste - I like him better in Schubert, but even there not without reservations), a 5 CD-set by Melvin Tan on Virgin (ditto), and finally some odd recordings here and there, by Immerseel, Demus and Trudelies Leonhardt.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on January 10, 2008, 06:16:10 AM
I was under the impression there is not that many LvB fortepiano recordings around, besides the ongoing cycles by Brautigam and Komen?

Bear with me: the multi-performer cycle on Claves, a cycle by Badura-Skoda on Astrée (not my taste - I like him better in Schubert, but even there not without reservations), a 5 CD-set by Melvin Tan on Virgin (ditto), and finally some odd recordings here and there, by Immerseel, Demus and Trudelies Leonhardt.

Q

Malcolm Binns (all sonatas, L'Oiseau-Lyre/Decca LP only)

Peter Serkin recorded sonatas no. 29-32 on a "Graf(?)" fortepiano for ProArte (a RCA subsidary)
Only 30-32 made it to CD, the sound is VERY reverberant.  But the performance is outstanding.

There has to be more...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on January 10, 2008, 02:21:42 PM
The late sonates (28-32) from Malcolm Binns´ recording have been released on CD. I got them some time ago, haven´t managed to listen to them yet.
And I recently ordered a CD with Lambert Orkis playing three different versions of no 23, played on 3 different pianos, one of them a Graf, IIRC.
And the rereleased Concertos with Lubin/Hogwood contains three of the sonatas. 
And a CD with Alexei Lubimov on Erato.
And the "Kurfürsten-sonaten" with Laura Alvini.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 10, 2008, 03:28:25 PM
Well, I bought that Binns late sonatas on Explore this morning, based on this discussion. Hope to have it by mid-week. I had never heard of him, the fact that this disk was only recently migrated from LP is surely why.

There are lots of individual single disks of various sonatas and bagatelles. But as Q & FT have pointed out, cycles are thin on the ground. I would be surprised and disappointed to discover that Badura-Skoda's Beethoven wasn't up to the standard of both his modern piano Beethoven and-or his fortepiano Mozart, both of which are especially fine. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Dvorak Op 053 - Zehetmair Philharmonia Orch / Eschenbach - Dvorak Concerto in a for Violin Op 53 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on January 12, 2008, 02:29:56 PM

And a CD with Alexei Lubimov on Erato.


Lubimov played the name sonatas "Moonlight" "Pathetique" "Waldstein" on a Broadwood, which would not be Beethoven's own choice by the way....the interpretation is unexciting as far as I am concerned.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on January 13, 2008, 02:52:32 AM
Lubimov played the name sonatas "Moonlight" "Pathetique" "Waldstein" on a Broadwood, which would not be Beethoven's own choice by the way....the interpretation is unexciting as far as I am concerned.

Yes i have this recording. I don't even consider CDs using English fortepianos any more. They are less refined than the Viennese, rather clunky and brassy sounding. I have no doubt the Viennese actioned design is the best suited model for Beethoven's music, which is perhaps why most performances use Viennese School models, or copies thereof.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 13, 2008, 09:42:07 AM
When do we get the "Moonlight" and "Pathetique" on prepared piano?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on January 13, 2008, 10:01:33 AM
When do we get the "Moonlight" and "Pathetique" on prepared piano?

Prepare your piano and you are ready to go.  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on February 23, 2008, 10:57:56 AM
From the site of Zig Zag Territoires:


(http://www.zigzag-territoires.com/IMG/arton1468-150x151.jpg) (http://www.zigzag-territoires.com/article.php3?id_article=1468&lang=en)
BEETHOVEN: The Nine Symphonies;Overtures: The Consecration of the House, Coriolan, The Ruins of Athens, The Creatures of Prometheus - Marcia alla Turca Five CDs and one DVD -Anima Eterna - Jos van Immerseel

Release date: 13 April 2008

Q

To these ears the Allegro con brio from the 3rd sounds a bit relaxed without losing all the dynamic feel. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 23, 2008, 03:03:00 PM
From the site of Zig Zag Territoires:


(http://www.zigzag-territoires.com/IMG/arton1468-150x151.jpg) (http://www.zigzag-territoires.com/article.php3?id_article=1468&lang=en)
BEETHOVEN: The Nine Symphonies;Overtures: The Consecration of the House, Coriolan, The Ruins of Athens, The Creatures of Prometheus - Marcia alla Turca Five CDs and one DVD -Anima Eterna - Jos van Immerseel

Release date: 13 April 2008

Q

Excellent, thanks, Q. Date marked on calendar. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Grieg Violin Sonatas -  - Grieg Sonata in F for Violin & Piano #1 Op 8 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on March 06, 2008, 08:02:27 AM
(http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/1688/518pcuv1filss500xj8.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
(http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/1688/518pcuv1filss500xj8.27dfc72231.jpg) (http://g.imageshack.us/g.php?h=510&i=518pcuv1filss500xj8.jpg)

Peter Serkin recorded these on a Graf(?) fortepiano really ;) and in VERY resonant acoustic.
But the performances are extremely listenable so I am willing to embrace inexactitude in this case. 

fl
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on March 06, 2008, 08:07:39 AM
But the performances are extremely listenable so I am willing to embrace inexactitude in this case. 

fl
You better, because there are more wrong notes than you can shake a stick at.
Clearly the MM=138 that begins the Op. 106 severely challenges Serkin but he gives it a go anyway which is admirable I suppose.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on March 06, 2008, 09:51:53 AM
You better, because there are more wrong notes than you can shake a stick at.

Not to worry, I have heard many of these performances already.  He's often up to (Beethoven's specified) tempi and that's what counts for me.  ;D  Anyways the wrong notes have nothing to do with the use of a fortepiano per se (preparation time?), and not to mention these highly listenable recordings were made twnety some years ago!

fl
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 12, 2008, 07:37:07 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416kgEFtOfL._SS400_.jpg)

The biggest bonus for me would be the sound, which is very well done.  Immerseel used
Viennese instruments and the high pitch that was typical of the region at the time (a=440).
So while on the whole the set has a lot of sonorities to offer, there is also plenty of brilliance on
the surface.  I recognise that the engineering was done by the Northwest Classics people, who
always do excellent work as far as I am concerned.

EDIT.  Interpretation?  Immerseel wrote in the booklet essay that such a concept did not
commonly exist before 1850  :D   Audibly different from the other HIP and near HIP sets
I have heard but it's hard to say it is any better or worse.  One never finishes with Beethoven!  :D
(Thanks to Premont for the really useful expression.)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 13, 2008, 08:25:51 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416kgEFtOfL._SS400_.jpg)

The biggest bonus for me would be the sound, which is very well done.  Immerseel used
Viennese instruments and the high pitch that was typical of the region at the time (a=440).
So while on the whole the set has a lot of sonorities to offer, there is also plenty of brilliance on
the surface.  I recognise that the engineering was done by the Northwest Classics people, who
always do excellent work as far as I am concerned.

EDIT.  Interpretation?  Immerseel wrote in the booklet essay that such a concept did not
commonly exist before 1850  :D   Audibly different from the other HIP and near HIP sets
I have heard but it's hard to say it is any better or worse.  One never finishes with Beethoven!  :D
(Thanks to Premont for the really useful expression.)

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has invested in this set!  So far I have most carefully listened to the 3rd and 6th, which I feel are 2 of the hardest symphonies to master.  For some reason, so many conductors seem to turn the 6th into sludge, sentimental mush, or they just speed through it (like Karajan) hoping that if they play fast enough no one will notice that they just don't care for the symphony.  Surprisingly, the best 6th I've heard recently is the Vänskä which is big band (the complete unscaled down modern orchestra is used) Beethoven.  However, not many here care for his cycle -- although I'll bet than in another 10 years it will be held up as one of the first great cycle in "modern" digital sound.  The only other modern cycle that is as good is the Dausgaard, and I am beginning to wonder if that one will be completed because Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra seemed to have jumped labels (Simax to Bis)...

Has anyone seen any reviews of the set yet?  I'm sure someone must have written something about it. 

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 13, 2008, 11:56:55 PM


Has anyone seen any reviews of the set yet?  I'm sure someone must have written something about it. 




Hi Bunny!

Do you mean the set by Immerseel?   There is a short review on the Guardian website by Andrew
Clements which gave it a mediocre rating.  However I must say I am not convinced one bit by what
he said, especially when his main reason for a thumb flat ahead is that Immerseel didn't sound 19th
century enough.  Well, what does a 20th century critic know about the sound world at around 1810-
20 Vienna, as it really was I mean?  Talking about arbitrary judgements in historical matters... ::)
Immerseel Review at the Guardian (http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2272502,00.html)


BTW, I swore off further Dausgaard Beethoven purchases after one experience with his lame 7th
 (to my taste).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 14, 2008, 04:24:30 AM

Hi Bunny!

Do you mean the set by Immerseel?   There is a short review on the Guardian website by Andrew
Clements which gave it a mediocre rating.  However I must say I am not convinced one bit by what
he said, especially when his main reason for a thumb flat ahead is that Immerseel didn't sound 19th
century enough.  Well, what does a 20th century critic know about the sound world at around 1810-
20 Vienna, as it really was I mean?  Talking about arbitrary judgements in historical matters... ::)
Immerseel Review at the Guardian (http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2272502,00.html)


BTW, I swore off further Dausgaard Beethoven purchases after one experience with his lame 7th
 (to my taste).

Hi Flauto,

I saw the guardian review yesterday, too.  Gramophon has made it a "pick of the month," but imo there are going to be many, many mixed reviews.  So far I've found the set to be heavily in the more "classical" tradition, similar in fact to the Dausgaard in approach, but with period instruments.  However, because Immerseel is not a sentimentalist -- his Beethoven tends to be more "prosaic" than "romantical" (to use the terms of the early 19th century) -- many critics will feel the set doesn't set up the music as sufficiently "revolutionary."   Beethoven is thought of as a tormented genius, always in a struggle to assert the values of Liberté, Egalité, etc. with an aristocratic society and most people want to hear the music that way.  In fact the man was quite a snob, hobnobbing with the aristocracy, and never correcting their misapprehension that the "van" in his name meant that he too was of aristocratic descent.  That misperception allowed him to mingle on an equal footing in circles that never could accept Mozart or Haydn as more than musicians, and also afforded him the freedom to express those politically radical sentiments without fear of reprisal.  Only imagine the results if Mozart or Salieri had ever dared to suggest that all men should be as brothers!  The closest Mozart could come to criticizing the aristocracy was in some of his operas where he poked only gently at the foibles of the aristocracy.

In order to appreciate the more "revolutionary" aspects of Immerseel's Beethoven, it becomes necessary to compare it to something like Harnoncourt's Paris Symphonies.  After you do that, the music stands out with its length, emotionality, and especially its dissonances.  However, comparing Savall's Eroica to Immerseel's, one is immediately struck by Immerseel's tameness.  I think critics are going to be very confused by what Immerseel has done because it does not meet expectations.  That is why I am reserving judgement until I have lived with this set for some time.  I want to compare it with other sets to see how it stands up over time.  The one thing that I can appreciate is the fine sound quality, and the high level of performance of all of the instrumentalists. 

Btw, don't write off the Dausgaard completely because of the 7th.  The 3rd and 6th are probably the best of the series, and the cd of the 8th also contains some of Beethoven's less (rightfully) performed instrumental music.  I wasn't completely bowled over by his 5th either.  However, I am quite addicted to Beethoven, so I believe that one can never have too many Beethoven cycles.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 14, 2008, 06:26:13 AM
Hi Flauto,

I saw the guardian review yesterday, too.  Gramophon has made it a "pick of the month," but imo there are going to be many, many mixed reviews.  So far I've found the set to be heavily in the more "classical" tradition, similar in fact to the Dausgaard in approach, but with period instruments.  However, because Immerseel is not a sentimentalist -- his Beethoven tends to be more "prosaic" than "romantical" (to use the terms of the early 19th century) -- many critics will feel the set doesn't set up the music as sufficiently "revolutionary."   Beethoven is thought of as a tormented genius, always in a struggle to assert the values of Liberté, Egalité, etc. with an aristocratic society and most people want to hear the music that way.  In fact the man was quite a snob, hobnobbing with the aristocracy, and never correcting their misapprehension that the "van" in his name meant that he too was of aristocratic descent.  That misperception allowed him to mingle on an equal footing in circles that never could accept Mozart or Haydn as more than musicians, and also afforded him the freedom to express those politically radical sentiments without fear of reprisal.  Only imagine the results if Mozart or Salieri had ever dared to suggest that all men should be as brothers!  The closest Mozart could come to criticizing the aristocracy was in some of his operas where he poked only gently at the foibles of the aristocracy.

In order to appreciate the more "revolutionary" aspects of Immerseel's Beethoven, it becomes necessary to compare it to something like Harnoncourt's Paris Symphonies.  After you do that, the music stands out with its length, emotionality, and especially its dissonances.  However, comparing Savall's Eroica to Immerseel's, one is immediately struck by Immerseel's tameness.  I think critics are going to be very confused by what Immerseel has done because it does not meet expectations.  That is why I am reserving judgement until I have lived with this set for some time.  I want to compare it with other sets to see how it stands up over time.  The one thing that I can appreciate is the fine sound quality, and the high level of performance of all of the instrumentalists. 

Btw, don't write off the Dausgaard completely because of the 7th.  The 3rd and 6th are probably the best of the series, and the cd of the 8th also contains some of Beethoven's less (rightfully) performed instrumental music.  I wasn't completely bowled over by his 5th either.  However, I am quite addicted to Beethoven, so I believe that one can never have too many Beethoven cycles.

An interesting take but I am still of the opinion that what Clement meant by 19th-century is mostly his imagination.
Not everyone in 1830 Vienna was going to perform Beethoven 3rd like Savall and I really think what was typical of the time isn't so much the eccentricity in expression -- or who'd be listening to Hummel, for example?  -- but the general phrasing and sonorities, of which I am sure Immerseel made as a good guess as he could.   I like many balancing decisions made by Immerseel and his engineers -- the inner voices are quite audible and one gets a new picture of Beethoven's orchestration.  Listen, for example, the many tremolos on low strings throughout the 9th other than those surfacing at the beginning of i.  Or to the d minor chord that starts iv.  Never heard it so much like an angry growl and never sensed so much terror in that one sound before.  It's hard to imagine Dausgaard has the same rich palette of colours with his squeaky clean, polite sounding steel strings and modern winds.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on May 15, 2008, 06:15:34 AM
I sampled all of the tracks in the Immerseel set and was dissapointed by his rather generalised approach to tempo in particular. All rather tame really, certainly nothing new if you've got the other sets on authentic instruments. I agree the sound quality is good, as is the price (£24 here in UK). Maybe a good buy for those new to HIP Beethoven, but not so good for old campaigners like me.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 15, 2008, 09:03:30 AM
I sampled all of the tracks in the Immerseel set and was dissapointed by his rather generalised approach to tempo in particular. All rather tame really, certainly nothing new if you've got the other sets on authentic instruments. I agree the sound quality is good, as is the price (£24 here in UK). Maybe a good buy for those new to HIP Beethoven, but not so good for old campaigners like me.

I think that is a fair estimate from some who had heard it a lot and only wants something that can replace all others.
Still I must say I have never heard so many details from the symphonies before - that counts as something new to me  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on May 23, 2008, 08:54:57 PM
Saving this post for prosterity. 8)

Just for fun I bought the Brautigam bundle on eclassical and a Paul Komen disc on iTunes (a grand total of slightly more than 10 euros) for some comparative listening.

Uninterestingly, I have to agree with most earlier posters and online reviewers. I've mainly focused on Sonata No 17 "The Tempest", and if you can call the piece bitter-sweet, then Komen emphasises the sweetness and Brautigam the bitterness. I find Komen more lyrical, his interpretation feels more flexible and cantablile, the phrases are longer while Brautigam is more aggresive and really pounds in the shorter figures.

Which one you prefer would depend on if you prefer your storms to be like a summer thunderstorm or a relentless winter rain storm.

The recordings are both fine to my ears, surprisingly resonant for chamber music (I think I've read somewhere that the Brautigam cycle is recorded in a church), but on the other hand that helps with the fortepianos short sustain.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No 17 "The Tempest"
Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano
Paul Komen, fortepiano


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511G1RP4FAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Ywn8pVErL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

i've actually had Brautigam's in my shopping basket, but haven't had the courage money to press click the button, and now I'm beginning to think I prefer Komen after all, I do like music to breathe even when very intense.
Wonderful, wasn't the latest released in 2001?  I was starting to think the project had been abandoned. :o

RE: completion Komen series. I have been considering to write a mail to Globe on that, I think I shall. Will report back!

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 24, 2008, 04:31:27 AM

Which one you prefer would depend on if you prefer your storms to be like a summer thunderstorm or a relentless winter rain storm.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No 17 "The Tempest"
Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano
Paul Komen, fortepiano


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511G1RP4FAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Ywn8pVErL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

For me that would depend on how I got out of bed in the morning. ;)

I actually love both of the sets and am happy to have many sets that offer different insights.  If all of the cycles offered the same insights, then I wouldn't bother to get more than one.  Actually, no one would need more than one, and the only reason for buying another set would be improved technology. 

Happy listening!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2008, 04:37:52 AM
Saving this post for prosterity. 8)

RE: completion Komen series. I have been considering to write a mail to Globe on that, I think I shall. Will report back!

Q

I am supposing that Brautigam is just to my taste, as I really like his surehanded style and modest aggression. I now have the first 20 sonatas by Brautigam, and look forward to the last 12.

As for Komen, I have Op 31 and the Last 3. Beautifully played, bring out the poetry in these works. I am quite sure that I will eventually end up with both of these cycles complete, if in fact THEY do! :)  There is much to like in both of them, and my comparative listening with them has proved yet again, to my satisfaction, that I needn't choose one of the other, the music is great enough to stand different interpretations with no diminishment in listener enjoyment and satisfaction. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Beethoven - Ronald Brautigam - Op 002 #2 Sonata #02 in A 1st mvmt - Allegro vivace
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 24, 2008, 04:57:21 AM
Now listening to Immerseel's Beethoven 5th symphony, and have to say that this is probably the most dramatic so far.  It's got thunder and lightening, and great leathery timpany.  Those drums may not have the more ominous rumble of the synthetic skins that I've gotten used to in concert performance, but those leathery sounds have great, startling, "pop". :)

Also, have finally had more time for listening to the third symphony, and am finding that the dissonances seem to jump out from the classical framework.  The drama is there, but it had to sneak up on me.  Sometimes the ordinary becomes changed because of things that don't seem so obvious immediately. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on May 24, 2008, 09:42:30 AM
When will you people start understanding that "HIP" isn't just about hard timpani sticks and little sonic shock effects?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 24, 2008, 10:59:11 AM
When will you people start understanding that "HIP" isn't just about hard timpani sticks and little sonic shock effects?

Of course HIP isn't "just about hard timpani sticks and little sonic shock effects." We all know that.  However, I find great pleasure in the way leather drum skins sound as opposed to synthetic drum "skins."  I also love the particular timbre of gut strings over steel strings.  Imagine if you will how flamenco would sound if played on a steel string guitar instead of gut or even nylon.  To say that HIP has nothing to do with these materials is to only understand a part of the differences.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on May 24, 2008, 11:09:19 AM
Who says that "HIP" has *nothing* to do with that? Still, gut strings and leather heads alone don't make the difference. Gut strings were very widely used well into the first decades of the 20th century, and in some parts of the world (e.g. Germany) orchestras still have pretty much exclusively natural ("leather") timpani heads. What I am concerned about is that everyone who plays any given historical music on gut strings and with hard timpani sticks, and typically at rather fast tempi is seen as "HIP". There is nothing "HIP" in that as such. What that is really about is the exploration of the complex stylistical world and performance practices from which historical music originated, in order to illuminate that music and give us more information and more expressive choices when we play and interprete that music. However, a lot of "HIP" stuff is just content with racing through "classical" music and making it sound more "exciting" because a long time ago, there was some shock effect in that. But we should be way beyond that point by now. That reminds me, I wanted to listen to Immerseel's Ravel album which has been sitting on my desk here for a while, to see how "HIP" that is.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 24, 2008, 11:38:15 AM
Who says that "HIP" has *nothing* to do with that? Still, gut strings and leather heads alone don't make the difference. Gut strings were very widely used well into the first decades of the 20th century, and in some parts of the world (e.g. Germany) orchestras still have pretty much exclusively natural ("leather") timpani heads. What I am concerned about is that everyone who plays any given historical music on gut strings and with hard timpani sticks, and typically at rather fast tempi is seen as "HIP". There is nothing "HIP" in that as such. What that is really about is the exploration of the complex stylistical world and performance practices from which historical music originated, in order to illuminate that music and give us more information and more expressive choices when we play and interprete that music. However, a lot of "HIP" stuff is just content with racing through "classical" music and making it sound more "exciting" because a long time ago, there was some shock effect in that. But we should be way beyond that point by now. That reminds me, I wanted to listen to Immerseel's Ravel album which has been sitting on my desk here for a while, to see how "HIP" that is.

Sadly, here in the US a modern orchestra using gut strings and leather tympani is so rare that I've never heard one.  Scratch that, I've heard the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and I believe their tympany does use leather.  But, gut strings now seem to be used exclusively by HIP ensembles.  It's really too bad because the sound of gut is very unique.  The different sounds of the instruments was one of the reasons I was attracted to period instrument performance, and remains one of my great pleasures. 

Btw, Immerseel's tempos aren't among the fastest, and that's another way the set appeals to me.  Fwiw, I think the set is well worth the asking price (and they had one at Amazon this morning for about $14.00 if anyone is looking for a bargain).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on May 24, 2008, 11:50:16 AM
Actually, I have seen several American orchestras use natural timpani heads. I didn't say any German orchestras or symphony orchestras anywhere in general still use gut strings (you don't see that anywhere as a rule anymore). I like the sound of gut strings, too, although the kind of sound one gets from the instrument is just as much a matter of how it is played as whether it has gut stings or steel strings. There are many factors. But the actual sound of the instruments is just one of many factors which make or don't make a "HIP" performance. What I personally am most interested in is not people playing through the music on somehow historical instruments, but the musicians investigating the *style* of the music based on historical information.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: MN Dave on May 24, 2008, 11:52:07 AM
What I personally am most interested in is not people playing through the music on somehow historical instruments, but the musicians investigating the *style* of the music based on historical information.

+1
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 24, 2008, 12:53:01 PM
Actually, I have seen several American orchestras use natural timpani heads. I didn't say any German orchestras or symphony orchestras anywhere in general still use gut strings (you don't see that anywhere as a rule anymore). I like the sound of gut strings, too, although the kind of sound one gets from the instrument is just as much a matter of how it is played as whether it has gut stings or steel strings. There are many factors. But the actual sound of the instruments is just one of many factors which make or don't make a "HIP" performance. What I personally am most interested in is not people playing through the music on somehow historical instruments, but the musicians investigating the *style* of the music based on historical information.

I agree that "the musicians investigating the *style* of the music based on historical information" and using that as a basis for interpretation is important.  However, there are so many modern orchestra performances that have been influenced by historic scholarship that merely recognizing the influence of the HIP movement in their performance should not be sufficient to make that performance HIP. 

Zinman, Vänskä, Fey, Dausgaard, Jarvi and many others all use the Barenreiter texts, have been influenced by period practices to a greater or lesser degree in their performances of Beethoven, and use modern instrument ensembles.  In the case of Dausgaard, Jarvi, and Fey, it is a smaller scaled chamber orchestra and in the case of Vänskä and I believe Zinman, it is a full sized modern orchestra.  One has to start differentiating between HIP influenced and actual period instrument performance or HIP just becomes another example of contemporary (late 20th - 21st century) performance practice rather than the (hopefully accurate) recreation of the a late 18th - early 19th century performance. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 27, 2008, 04:09:34 AM
+1

-1  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on May 27, 2008, 04:12:56 AM
One has to start differentiating between HIP influenced and actual period instrument performance or HIP just becomes another example of contemporary (late 20th - 21st century) performance practice rather than the (hopefully accurate) recreation of the a late 18th - early 19th century performance. 

+1
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on May 31, 2008, 08:38:10 AM
HOT HIP Beethoven news I just received from Gurn! :)

To be released! (1st of July in Europe) (That concerto no. 6 is the piano version of the violin concerto - just listen to the sample).

(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/305/BIG.JPG)

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fugalibera.com%2Fdata%2Fcds%2F305%2Fclip.mp3[/mp3]

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 31, 2008, 08:50:21 AM
Here's the link to jpc. Only available in Europe so far, but if you don't mind paying the freight...

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/4180561

As for me, I am confident it will be released in the States before year's end... I hope  :-\

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Ronald Brautigam - Op 002 #1 Sonata #01 in f 3rd mvmt - Menuetto: Allegretto
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on May 31, 2008, 08:55:48 AM
Here's the link to jpc. Only available in Europe so far, but if you don't mind paying the freight...

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/1010560?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

As for me, I am confident it will be released in the States before year's end... I hope  :-\

It sure sounds like a feast, Gurn. Hope it will wash up on your shores soon! :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 31, 2008, 08:57:04 AM
It sure sounds like a feast, Gurn. Hope it will wash up on your shores soon! :)

Q

Maybe in time for Thanksgiving... :D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Ronald Brautigam - Op 002 #2 Sonata #02 in A 1st mvmt - Allegro vivace
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 31, 2008, 08:59:44 AM
Oops, wrong link   :-[

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/SESSIONID/02.../rsk/novelties

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Ronald Brautigam - Op 002 #2 Sonata #02 in A 1st mvmt - Allegro vivace
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on May 31, 2008, 10:10:41 AM
HOT HIP Beethoven news I just received from Gurn! :)

To be released! (1st of July in Europe) (That concerto no. 6 is the piano version of the violin concerto - just listen to the sample).

(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/305/BIG.JPG)

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fugalibera.com%2Fdata%2Fcds%2F305%2Fclip.mp3[/mp3]

Q
You can buy it now for €17,00 not including VAT (goes up after full release) at the Alpha website.  The price is a little more than at JPC, but the shipping is less than half -- €5,40 as opposed to JPC's €13,00.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: The new erato on May 31, 2008, 11:32:30 AM
Now THIS is a sure buy! The previous issue is a favorite.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 01, 2008, 10:14:28 AM
Now THIS is a sure buy! The previous issue is a favorite.

This is what I've been waiting for for a long time. I've been promoting the '6th concerto' for years but largely to deaf ears. On period instruments it should be great, as long the usual pedestrian tempi we hear with the violin version are not applied (apart from Bruggen's recording, he gets the tempi right). I will be annoyed if they do not use Beethoven's fortepiano and drum cadenza.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on June 01, 2008, 10:45:04 AM
This is what I've been waiting for for a long time. I've been promoting the '6th concerto' for years but largely to deaf ears. On period instruments it should be great, as long the usual pedestrian tempi we hear with the violin version are not applied (apart from Bruggen's recording, he gets the tempi right). I will be annoyed if they do not use Beethoven's fortepiano and drum cadenza.

Are you always that cheerful when you get good news?  8)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 02, 2008, 02:24:33 AM
Are you always that cheerful when you get good news?  8)

Q

The news will only be as good as the recording, and for that we will have to wait and see, or rather hear. In their previous Beethoven CD, the 5th Concerto is probably the best there is, but the 4th is rather lackluster in the first and second movements. I still rate Badura-Skoda's the best version of the 4th to date, but there is room for a better account.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on June 02, 2008, 06:33:16 AM
I still rate Badura-Skoda's the best version of the 4th to date, but there is room for a better account.

Is that because that's the only other recording you know?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 02, 2008, 11:29:12 AM
Is that because that's the only other recording you know?

You're totally out of your league so don't embarrass yourself.

Really you've got to grow up M, I've paid good money for the best of all the old school stuff. You name it, I've bought it (and I've given most of those away). Kempff, Brendel, Gilels etc etc. Considering the HIP scene please add Immerseel, Levin and Lubin in addition to Schoonderwoerd and Badura-Skoda to the list
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on June 02, 2008, 01:35:56 PM
You're totally out of your league so don't embarrass yourself.

Out of what league? The league of hollow crap talkers? You are right, you are completely untouchable when it comes to that. Even the silliest stuff I sometimes come up with can't compare in dumbness to the nosense you come up with all the time - and which you apparently mean totally seriously.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on June 02, 2008, 01:42:26 PM
HOT HIP Beethoven news I just received from Gurn! :)

To be released! (1st of July in Europe) (That concerto no. 6 is the piano version of the violin concerto - just listen to the sample).

(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/305/BIG.JPG)

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fugalibera.com%2Fdata%2Fcds%2F305%2Fclip.mp3[/mp3]

Q
Is the whole cycle as wonderful as this is? I might have to dig out of my wallet, immediately!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 02, 2008, 03:26:12 PM
Is the whole cycle as wonderful as this is? I might have to dig out of my wallet, immediately!

There is just one other so far, I anticipate a total of 3. The current one is concertos 4 & 5. it's a peach. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Ancerl - Czech PO / Ancerl - Op 72a Leonore Overture #3
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on June 02, 2008, 07:26:40 PM
Is the whole cycle as wonderful as this is? I might have to dig out of my wallet, immediately!

There is just one other so far, I anticipate a total of 3. The current one is concertos 4 & 5. it's a peach. :)

Brian, this is the one:

(http://discplus.ch/login/1547894/shop/upload/31113.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/4180561?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist)
click picture for more samples
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fugalibera.com%2Fdata%2Fcds%2F175%2Fclip.mp3[/mp3]

Check these earlier comments:
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg124368.html#msg124368 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg124368.html#msg124368)
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg108943.html#msg108943 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg108943.html#msg108943)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on June 02, 2008, 11:54:11 PM
%2Fwww.fugalibera.com%2Fdata%2Fcds%2F175%2Fclip.mp3[/mp3]

Is that heavy breath-intake I hear?


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 03, 2008, 01:30:07 AM
Is that heavy breath-intake I hear?




Yes and I suppose it was a "get go" sign from Schoonderwoerd for his band.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 03, 2008, 02:50:10 AM
Out of what league? The league of hollow crap talkers? You are right, you are completely untouchable when it comes to that. Even the silliest stuff I sometimes come up with can't compare in dumbness to the nosense you come up with all the time - and which you apparently mean totally seriously.

I was talking absolutely seriously about the Badura-Skoda recording being the best so far but you were not mature enough to respond to my comment in a sensible manner. So what am I supposed to expect of you, that you actually know anything?? I was promoting the first Cristofori CD ages ago, long before anyone else, even before it was released in my own country. So if you think I am talking nonsense then the others involved in this thread must be idiots too.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: ChamberNut on June 03, 2008, 07:34:13 AM
Question for the HIPpies:

Is it really 'HIP' if it's all recorded on state-of-the-art 21st century technology??  Shouldn't it be recorded the old-fashioned way?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on June 03, 2008, 07:36:14 AM
Question for the HIPpies:

Is it really 'HIP' if it's all recorded on state-of-the-art 21st century technology??  Shouldn't it be recorded the old-fashioned way?

You mean like they way used to do it in the 1820s?  :D

As an aspiring HIPie, I think it's only the performance that counts. If it's HIP and HIR, then you have a good  point. ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: ChamberNut on June 03, 2008, 07:36:39 AM
You mean like they way used to do it in the 1820s?  :D

Exactly.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on June 03, 2008, 07:38:38 AM
Exactly.

I just added a note to my previous post. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Wanderer on June 03, 2008, 07:40:19 AM
Is it really 'HIP' if it's all recorded on state-of-the-art 21st century technology??  Shouldn't it be recorded the old-fashioned way?

You're thinking about HIR.

HIP is about performances, not recordings.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: ChamberNut on June 03, 2008, 07:41:43 AM
You're thinking about HIR.

HIP is about performances, not recordings.

Good point!   ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 04, 2008, 07:20:26 AM
You're thinking about HIR.

HIP is about performances, not recordings.

Bad point. You can't have a recording without a performance.  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Wanderer on June 04, 2008, 08:14:28 AM
You can't have a recording without a performance.

Irrelevant. Both/either recording (following Chambernut's definition:-) and/or performance can individually be H.I. or not.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on June 04, 2008, 08:21:32 AM
Question for the HIPpies:

Is it really 'HIP' if it's all recorded on state-of-the-art 21st century technology??  Shouldn't it be recorded the old-fashioned way?

Sorry guys, but we have another thread for this:

What is HIP and why do you like/dislike it? (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3920.0.html)

HIP Poll (Question: What do you think of HIP?) (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7866.0.html)

Pleas take this done-to-death-and-totally-uninteresting-and-off-topic-topic there.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: JoshLilly on June 17, 2008, 05:54:02 AM
I'm looking for what the title says.  I'm particularly looking to get the Piano Trios, but since I intend to do a "Build Your Own Complete Beethoven Set" thing, I don't suppose any order is required.  I'm pretty far along in having his complete works already, but I want all of it I can get to be period instruments.  I don't know what it is, but each time I hear one of his works on period instruments, it's like it improves tenfold.  I've already got the symphonies, piano concerti, piano sonatas, and string quartets completed on period instruments, but I'm not sure that I did best on the quartets.  That's why I'm hoping to start this up, since dipping in blind doesn't always come up with good results for me.  And also, hoping that this will be of interest to others!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: hornteacher on June 17, 2008, 06:21:11 AM
Two great CDs of the Archduke and Ghost Trios on Period Instruments:

http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Piano-Trios-Ludwig-van/dp/B00007LI92/ref=sr_1_42?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1213715976&sr=1-42

http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Archduke-Ghost-Ludwig-van/dp/B00004W5A1/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1213716045&sr=1-2
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 17, 2008, 06:29:30 AM
For piano trios, best choice (in my book) is the Castle Trio on Virgin. These are excellent performances, and great recordings too. I like L'Archibudelli's "Archduke" and "Ghost", but that's all they've done (or likely will do). :(

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 20, 2008, 02:52:26 AM
I'm looking for what the title says.  I'm particularly looking to get the Piano Trios, but since I intend to do a "Build Your Own Complete Beethoven Set" thing, I don't suppose any order is required.  I'm pretty far along in having his complete works already, but I want all of it I can get to be period instruments.  I don't know what it is, but each time I hear one of his works on period instruments, it's like it improves tenfold.  I've already got the symphonies, piano concerti, piano sonatas, and string quartets completed on period instruments, but I'm not sure that I did best on the quartets.  That's why I'm hoping to start this up, since dipping in blind doesn't always come up with good results for me.  And also, hoping that this will be of interest to others!

Check out this, should answer many of your questions regarding chamber music with piano. You may need to sign up to see everything though...
http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/beethoven-fortepiano-showcase-t48.html
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 04:53:35 AM
Sorry guys, but we have another thread for this:

What is HIP and why do you like/dislike it? (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3920.0.html)

HIP Poll (Question: What do you think of HIP?) (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7866.0.html)

Pleas take this done-to-death-and-totally-uninteresting-and-off-topic-topic there.

Q

You mean it's off-topic and uninteresting on a thread about HIP to talk about what thinks of HIP?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 05:38:56 AM
You mean it's off-topic and uninteresting on a thread about HIP to talk about what thinks of HIP?

Yes, actually. This is about HIP Beethoven performances. There are at the least 2 threads already dealing with "What do you think...?" where this would fit in just fine.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 05:44:13 AM
Yes, actually. This is about HIP Beethoven performances. There are at the least 2 threads already dealing with "What do you think...?" where this would fit in just fine.

8)

My objection is more to the "done-to-death-and-totally-uninteresting" description. For some of us, the question is neither done to death nor uninteresting.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 06:00:40 AM
My objection is more to the "done-to-death-and-totally-uninteresting" description. For some of us, the question is neither done to death nor uninteresting.

OK, I agree with that. It becomes interesting again each time someone new comes to it. However, I do agree with Q about time and place. Maybe we need to bump up those other threads.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on June 20, 2008, 01:28:40 PM
My objection is more to the "done-to-death-and-totally-uninteresting" description. For some of us, the question is neither done to death nor uninteresting.

Obviously I was not clear enough. ::)
I was not referring to discussing the concept of HIP, but to platitudes like "people talked through performances back then, so HIP actually means we should do the same now", "recordings didn't exist back then, so HIP recordings are nonsense", "HIP means that we all should wear wigs when listening to Bach", and very silly remarks alike.

Q

And I notice we're still not talking about HIP Beethoven recordings... ::) (=off topic)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 04:03:38 PM
Obviously I was not clear enough. ::)
I was not referring to discussing the concept of HIP, but to platitudes like "people talked through performances back then, so HIP actually means we should do the same now", "recordings didn't exist back then, so HIP recordings are nonsense", "HIP means that we all should wear wigs when listening to Bach", and very silly remarks alike.

Q

And I notice we're still not talking about HIP Beethoven recordings... ::) (=off topic)

Some of these remarks are silly indeed as reductios ad absurdum of certain valid insights. But I think it's legitimate to question how HIP a performance can be unless we approach it to some degree within the context in which the music was originally experienced. (Example: I have heard both Herreweghe and Hogwood do period-instrument performances in Avery Fisher Hall, of the B minor Mass and Handel's Orlando respectively. I'm sure they must have done all kinds of very HIP things regarding phrasing and tempo, but I doubt more than 20% of the audience could have known, as the instruments were barely audible in that large hall unless you were seated fairly closely. On the other hand, a recording of a clavichord closely miked can give a very false impression of that instrument's ability to carry, especially if one cranks up the volume. So are such performances or recordings HIP or not? Mr. Herreweghe is doing a more HIP thing next season when he brings the B minor Mass to the fairly small Alice Tully Hall, but that means the promoters can sell far fewer tickets.)

As for the "off-topic" admonitions, discussions naturally tend to stray from one aspect of a topic to another, and it seems to me hardly irrelevant to discuss larger issues of HIP performance from time to time within the context of a thread on Beethoven HIP performance. In any case, I was under the impression that the role of the moderators here was primarily to keep people from transgressing the guidelines for use of this forum, and there's nothing in the guidelines that prohibits digressions.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 20, 2008, 04:12:48 PM
And I notice we're still not talking about HIP Beethoven recordings... ::) (=off topic)

Well clearly enough has been talked AGAINST HIP Beethoven recordings, so I will
try restarting the thread with the mention a HIP Beethoven recording which I believe
has escaped the attention of many listeners who are sympathetic to the genre even. 

Beethoven: Complete Variations and Sonata Opus 69
Wieland Kuijken, cello
Jan Vermeulen, fortepiano

Vox temporis/ Rene Gailly CD 92 019 (rec. 1994)

Wieland Kuijken has not been particularly noted as a soloist on the cello, and people
would sooner associate him with music by, say, Telemann or Bach than with something
like a Beethoven set of variations or a Beethoven sonata.  This rare recording of a Kuijken
performing Beethoven (maybe less rare now, see below) is however excellent as a manifestation
of the performer's personality, which is somewhat diffident and deliberate when compared to
someone like Anner Bijsma, but still offers plenty of sincerity and inward expression.  To my
mind a more reserved approach to Beethoven like his is hardly too classical at all (as some
may be quick to describe) but effectively captures an image of what early nineteeth-century
sensibilities may mean to modern listeners.  Vermeulen uses an English type instrument (Tomkinson
1816) for op. 69, a decision that still makes sense if we believe Beethoven was performed
not just in German speaking countries but internationally at the time.  The sound is however
delicious and recording has excellent clarity with regards to presenting the instrumental timbres.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/49/1014949.jpg)

I don't have an image for the recording above but have, in the process of searching
online for one, found a new Kuijken recording of Beethoven chamber music.  I wish
they had chosen to record other sq's than Op. 59-3 (done several times on period
instruments already) but this and the quintet (also done before, e.g. by Hausmusik)
performed by five members of the Kuijken family still seem interesting. 

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 04:13:41 PM
I don't know what it is, but each time I hear one of his works on period instruments, it's like it improves tenfold. 

May I ask what makes you feel this way? (Well, you've already said, "I don't know what it is.") In a sense I can understand your position with regard to the symphonies or concertos, as there may be questions of balance that may be more satisfactorily resolved with a smaller orchestra. (As another parenthesis, however, I cannot abide that Ensemble Cristofori/Schoonderwoerd CD or concertos 4 + % that is so popular among some posters here. I bought it with the expectation that it was the Second Coming, and I found it seriously deficient as a performance.)

With the trios and quartets, however, issues of balance are less likely to arise as there are only limited players, and there have been so many superlative modern-instrument performances of the quartets especially that I don't know why you'd want to restrict yourself to period-instrument groups.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 20, 2008, 04:19:49 PM
On the other hand, a recording of a clavichord closely miked can give a very false impression of that instrument's ability to carry, especially if one cranks up the volume. So are such performances or recordings HIP or not? Mr. Herreweghe is doing a more HIP thing next season when he brings the B minor Mass to the fairly small Alice Tully Hall, but that means the promoters can sell far fewer tickets.)

Note the responsibility of mis-using HIP (recordings included) in the above cases lies not with the performer but with the listener and the promoters respectively.  I would argue that a clavichord miked closely is actually correct as the clavichord is often for the enjoyment of the player's him- or herself only, or perhaps for someone who would sit very close to the instrument.  That still doesn't mean that the volume should be cranked up, however.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 20, 2008, 04:28:09 PM
The use of period instruments provides particular timbres, textures and articulation possibilities that are not usually available with modern instruments.  Sforzandi on a well-restored fortepiano sound nothing like what one hears on a modern concert grand, for example.  It's still up to the performer's insight, though, to use these particularities of period instrument to the full. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 04:40:09 PM
With the trios and quartets, however, issues of balance are less likely to arise as there are only limited players, and there have been so many superlative modern-instrument performances of the quartets especially that I don't know why you'd want to restrict yourself to period-instrument groups.

Poco,
Well, to start off with, the only person I know who restricts himself to period instruments is the lovely and talented Mr. Corkin, so you really shouldn't go there. FT, Que and myself all are on record as listening to modern instrument performances too. In fact Que is (for reasons I can't begin to fathom) rather an enthusiast for "historic" recordings. Be that as it may, you may have to settle for the simple and rather obvious answer that we each and all prefer the sound of period instruments. And speaking only for myself, I often (not always) prefer the tempi too. Really, what could be simpler?  As for Cristofori/Schoonderwoerd, you will either like it or you won't. If your expectations are for the sound of Berlin PO and Pollini, for example, then you ain't gonna like this one bit. And that's fine. This is why each rendition is different, to suit the variety of tastes that are out there. I would rather have the latitude to compare BPO/Pollini to Schoonderwoerd than to be stuck trying to compare BPO/Pollini to VPO/Pollini because that's the biggest difference I could find... :-\

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Devienne: Bassoon Quartets - Lussier / Thouin / Plourde / Loiselle - Devienne Excerpts from Les Visitandines for Bassoon & Strings pt 2
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 05:43:46 PM
Poco,
Well, to start off with, the only person I know who restricts himself to period instruments is the lovely and talented Mr. Corkin, so you really shouldn't go there.

As for why I "went there," I quote the OP: "but I want all of it I can get to be period instruments." So your admonishment is IMHO unjustified.

And my response to Cri/Sch has nothing to do with the BPO/Pollini or some such. I simply think there are shortcomings in that recording that have escaped the response of its devotees, but it would take more time and alertness than I can muster right now to explain why, the recording being such a Sacred Cow.  :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 05:50:57 PM
As for why I "went there," I quote the OP: "but I want all of it I can get to be period instruments." So your admonishment is IMHO unjustified.

And my response to Cri/Sch has nothing to do with the BPO/Pollini or some such. I simply think there are shortcomings in that recording that have escaped the response of its devotees, but it would take more time and alertness than I can muster right now to explain why, the recording being such a Sacred Cow.  :D

Yes, well some people aspire to fanaticism, others are just born to it. :D  As it happens, I have the complete works of Beethoven 2 or 3 times over on modern instruments, and perhaps 75% of it on period instruments (with certain works multiples of times and others not at all), and I am happy with both. :)

Well then, I will be interested to hear your analysis when you feel up to presenting it. And if it is based on musical issues, then I will be glad to learn them. But if it has to do with the fortepiano sounding too tinkly in places, then I don't really care. Knowing you, though, it is more than that, so please share. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Hummel Fantasias - Madoka Inui - Op 018 Fantasie in Eb pt 3 - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 05:54:06 PM
Note the responsibility of mis-using HIP (recordings included) in the above cases lies not with the performer but with the listener and the promoters respectively.  I would argue that a clavichord miked closely is actually correct as the clavichord is often for the enjoyment of the player's him- or herself only, or perhaps for someone who would sit very close to the instrument.  That still doesn't mean that the volume should be cranked up, however.

By that argument the volume should also be always cranked up for Wagner or Strauss at their mightiest. Yet plenty of us listen to modern orchestras softly enough, whether to avoid problems with neighbors or spouses or one's own ears. The problem is that the early instruments are often recorded at unnaturally high volumes; I've experienced several times the startling effect of hearing a orchestral recording over the radio followed by a solo harpsichord, where the harpsichord sounds louder than a band of 70 players. I can't, however, fault a listener for setting his volume controls at a preferred norm and keeping them there. But because early music is very largely dependent on recordings (I think it's fair to say there are still far fewer live performances on early instruments than on modern ones), it is easy enough to get a distorted sense of the timbre and power of these instruments from listening to records.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 05:56:45 PM
But if it has to do with the fortepiano sounding too tinkly in places . . .

No.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 20, 2008, 06:00:19 PM
Yes, well some people aspire to fanaticism, others are just born to it. :D

Sounds almost Shakespearean: "Be not afraid of fanaticism: some are born fanatical, some achieve fanaticism, and some have fanaticism thrust upon them."
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 06:05:09 PM
No.

I suspected not, just wanted to be sure. I'm sure you've seen that reason given as to why a performance was a complete failure  ::)  Frankly, I don't give a rat's heinie about the occasional tinkle. At my age the punning alone would be unbearable... :D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Hummel Fantasias - Madoka Inui - Op 124  Fantasina in C on Mozart’s “Non piu andrai”
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 06:06:54 PM
Sounds almost Shakespearean: "Be not afraid of fanaticism: some are born fanatical, some achieve fanaticism, and some have fanaticism thrust upon them."

;D

Have at you! I shall flay you with my fanaticism, knave!   :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Hummel Fantasias - Madoka Inui - Op 124  Fantasina in C on Mozart’s “Non piu andrai”
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 20, 2008, 06:16:32 PM
By that argument the volume should also be always cranked up for Wagner or Strauss at their mightiest. Yet plenty of us listen to modern orchestras softly enough, whether to avoid problems with neighbors or spouses or one's own ears. The problem is that the early instruments are often recorded at unnaturally high volumes; I've experienced several times the startling effect of hearing a orchestral recording over the radio followed by a solo harpsichord, where the harpsichord sounds louder than a band of 70 players. I can't, however, fault a listener for setting his volume controls at a preferred norm and keeping them there. But because early music is very largely dependent on recordings (I think it's fair to say there are still far fewer live performances on early instruments than on modern ones), it is easy enough to get a distorted sense of the timbre and power of these instruments from listening to records.

This is true. Many period instrument recordings are very closely mic'ed. While on the one hand (at least in chamber music) this can produce a superb sound that really makes each instrument stand out, OTOH it does give a false sense of the capabilities of the instruments. The fact is, in pre-Beethovenian times chamber music was just that, the famous diary quote about Haydn, Mozart, Ditters and Vanhal playing quartets has them sited in the parlor of someone's apartment with the "audience" sitting on the couch. And Haydn's quartets pre-Op 50 were intended for the Prince's sitting room with just the players, the Prince, and a couple of friends (or not). So the volume of the instruments was not a factor in authentic performance. Modern recreations performed in Avery Fisher Hall for example are simply not going to stand up as authentic, no matter the research into playing practice or instruments used.

So there are 2 or 3 separate issues, venue, recording and music-making. It is unfortunate that they are so inextricably tied together... :-\

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Marcel Reijans Tenor - European Chamber Orchestra/Wilhelm Keitel - K 019c 21 Concert Aria for Tenor & Orchestra - Va, dal furor portata
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 20, 2008, 10:28:58 PM
But because early music is very largely dependent on recordings (I think it's fair to say there are still far fewer live performances on early instruments than on modern ones), it is easy enough to get a distorted sense of the timbre and power of these instruments from listening to records.

I think that your observation of distortion applies to ALL instruments used in classical music -- artificial balance appears in all classical recordings of all vintages.  The act of balancing is required in any recording of ensemble music.  On record, harpsichords often get a boost in concertante music where they play solo parts but as a continuo instrument they really don't need much amplifying to be heard; they simply blend in with low strings while creating that fabulous sparkle on top.  Archlutes are less so but still I wouldn't call them quiet when played in a group of 2 or 3.  Related to this balance probelm is the argument that Bach's harpsichord concertos should be performed like our "chamber music" i.e. one player per part.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 21, 2008, 08:55:27 AM
Though I have little time to go to concerts these days the last concert I went to was by the Academy of Ancient Music at St John's, Smith Square. Despite the venue's appalling acoustic (the church roof being so high the sound simply goes up over one's head) the orchestra made a hell of a racket. In addition I have read dozens of review of concerts involving period instruments and it is rare indeed that lack of volume is mentioned. This includes fortepiano recitals. No doubt the reviewers had good seats, but at the Barbican Hall for example I know from personal experience no orchestra of any kind no matter how huge sounds remotely loud from the top balcony!

Another factor is that period instrument orchestras these days tend to be a bit on the small size, but this was not always the case in days of old, sometimes the orchestras amassed could be very large when the occasion demanded it.

Everything is relative, but should not allow ourselves to permanently bow to the lowest common denominator in the hope that those in the back row of the Royal Albert Hall will be able to hear something.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Don on June 21, 2008, 09:09:58 AM
I can't, however, fault a listener for setting his volume controls at a preferred norm and keeping them there.

No fault or blame, but I do think it rather stupid to keep volume controls at one level.  Recordings are different from one another, so it would seem sensible to adjust volume and other audio controls as each new disc hits the player.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on June 21, 2008, 09:12:55 AM
...that period instrument orchestras these days tend to be a bit on the small size....

Everything is relative, but should not allow ourselves to permanently bow to the lowest common denominator in the hope that those in the back row of the Royal Albert Hall will be able to hear something.

The mere thought of a period ensemble of "normal" size, often one player pr. part, playing in the acoustics of RAH makes me laugh.
 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 21, 2008, 09:26:03 AM
The mere thought of a period ensemble of "normal" size, often one player pr. part, playing in the acoustics of RAH makes me laugh.
 

And yet a friend of mine (yes I have some) went not so long ago the the RAH, to hear some Russian Romantic music I recall. A very large modern orchestra was performing but he complained the concert was a waste of time because he could barely hear anything. Ok I presume he didn't have the best seat in the house, but it proves the issue of size an volume is relevant to all orchestras and instruments, not just the HIP scene. Everything depends on the venue for everybody.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on June 21, 2008, 10:30:18 AM
.... the issue of size an volume is relevant to all orchestras and instruments, not just the HIP scene.

Yes of course, but most relevant to the hip scene.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 21, 2008, 10:40:08 AM
Yes of course, but most relevant to the hip scene.

I fail to see the logic of this. It should not be relevant to any scene if concerts are organised properly. The venue should be appropriate for whatever forces are scheduled to perform there, and vice versa.

The finest moments at Glyndebourne over the past two decades by popular consensus have concerned Handel performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, namely Theodora and the more recent Giulio Cesare both conducted by Christie, and Glyndebourne is hardly a place sized for salon music!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on June 21, 2008, 10:44:33 AM
Yes of course, but most relevant to the hip scene.

No, it's equally relevant to all forms of music making since it's one of the basic parameters of music. There is no reason to think it might be more "relevant" to "HIP" music making than to any other "scene".

Everything is relative, but should not allow ourselves to permanently bow to the lowest common denominator in the hope that those in the back row of the Royal Albert Hall will be able to hear something.

If someone like Händel would have had the opportunity to perform in a venue the size of RAH, no doubt he would have drummed up at least 150 musicians to put on the stage and make a hell of a lot of noise.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on June 21, 2008, 10:56:07 AM
I fail to see the logic of this. It should not be relevant to any scene if concerts are organised properly. The venue should be appropriate for whatever forces are scheduled to perform there, and vice versa.

Maybe I was unclear. What I actually mean is, that the RAH is unsuited to intimate musical events. Maybe you mean - writing about properly organisation - that a more appropiate room should have been found for the event in question. If so we agree.

PS: Edited because of typo
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 21, 2008, 11:09:25 AM
Maybe I was unclear. What I actually mean is, that the RFH is unsuited to intimate musical events. Maybe you mean - writing about properly organisation - that a more appropiate room should have been found for the event in question. If so we agree.

Yes I was aware that, I was just showing that the opposite situation can still great problems at a venue the size of the RAH.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 26, 2008, 05:55:04 AM
Poco,
Well, to start off with, the only person I know who restricts himself to period instruments is the lovely and talented Mr. Corkin, so you really shouldn't go there.

Actually that is not true Gurn, not at all.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 26, 2008, 06:33:58 AM
Actually that is not true Gurn, not at all.

Really? I have heard you say dozens of times that this is all you will listen to. So, what's not true?

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 26, 2008, 06:39:36 AM
Really? I have heard you say dozens of times that this is all you will listen to. So, what's not true?

8)

For Handel yes, but for Beethoven no, as there is still a great lot of his stuff you can't buy on period instruments. So in the meantime more conventional recordings must suffice. I still promote, or at least mention those non-HIP Beethoven recordings I have at my site. So my stance is a little more pragmatic than you would like to portray I'm afraid. On the other hand if this is the impression I have given in the past then all is now corrected.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 26, 2008, 06:46:13 AM
For Handel yes, but for Beethoven no, as there is still a great lot of his stuff you can't buy on period instruments. So in the meantime more conventional recordings must suffice. I still promote, or at least mention those non-HIP Beethoven recordings I have at my site. So my stance is a little more pragmatic than you would like to portray I'm afraid. On the other hand if this is the impression I have given in the past then all is now corrected.

Well, yes, it certainly IS the impression you have given in the past! Well, good then. Now none of us fall into the "rabid" category, so criticism is entirely unfounded. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 26, 2008, 07:22:46 AM
Well, yes, it certainly IS the impression you have given in the past! Well, good then. Now none of us fall into the "rabid" category, so criticism is entirely unfounded. :)

8)

On the other hand if there WERE good period instrument recordings of ALL of Beethoven's works, then why would I need to concern myself with old Brendel and Karajan re-releases for example?  There is no logical reason at all. Can you give me one??
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 26, 2008, 07:28:44 AM
On the other hand if there WERE good period instrument recordings of ALL of Beethoven's works, then why would I need to concern myself with old Brendel and Karajan re-releases for example?  There is no logical reason at all. Can you give me one??

Because of the excellence of the recorded legacy on modern instruments.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 26, 2008, 08:40:12 AM
On the other hand if there WERE good period instrument recordings of ALL of Beethoven's works, then why would I need to concern myself with old Brendel and Karajan re-releases for example?  There is no logical reason at all. Can you give me one??

No, my preference is for the sound of period instruments too. However, I would never demean the musicianship of the older artistes, even though some of their performance practices are not to my taste. As an example, I would love to hear a pianist of the calibre of Kempff playing the late sonatas on a Graf... :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on June 26, 2008, 12:39:38 PM
Here are some period instrument Beethoven recordings of violin sonatas and trios:

(http://www.harmoniamundi.com/Publish/album/1075/901919_G.jpg)  (http://www.harmoniamundi.com/Publish/album/1215/901955_G.jpg) 

Also look for the Quatuor Mosaïque recordings of the Op. 18 Beethoven string quartets and the recordings of Quatuor Turner (their Op. 18 quartets is sadly oop :()

(http://www.harmoniamundi.com/Publish/album/534/905252_G.jpg)

Anner Bijlsma and Malcolm Bilson have recorded the sonatas for fortepiano and violoncello -- also excellent, but mostly available in the Beethoven box set which might be right up your alley as it also has the recordings of wind music by Mozzafiato.  It's a steal from the partners at about $75 from Amazon.  It's cheaper in Europe than the states, so you can also try to locate it at Amazon.uk.  Their shipping rates are far lower than Amazon.de.  German postal rates for parcels (via DHL) are killer!  Pieter Wispelwey and Paul Komen have also made an excellent period instrument recording (Channel Classics) of the complete piano and cello sonatas and Wispelwey and Lois Shapiro have recorded the variations for the same label, but I don't know how easy it is to find the variations nowadays.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517z%2BFoXy3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XZ0SUOILL._SS500_.jpg)
 (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MBhZ32gPL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)  (http://www.channelclassics.com/pictures/206494.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 27, 2008, 12:05:03 AM
As an example, I would love to hear a pianist of the calibre of Kempff playing the late sonatas on a Graf... :)

8)

Some of my very first Beethoven recordings were by Kempff, but I have CDs the late sonatas performed on Grafs in a most satisfactory manner, as has been demonstrated at my site. Hell would freeze over before I abandon those in favour of Kempff.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 27, 2008, 01:47:30 AM
Some of my very first Beethoven recordings were by Kempff, but I have CDs the late sonatas performed on Grafs in a most satisfactory manner, as has been demonstrated at my site. Hell would freeze over before I abandon those in favour of Kempff.

Well!

If you read the last few cantos of Dante's Inferno (I assume you've heard of it, even though Handel never wrote an opera on the subject), you'll find that the deepest circles of Hell are characterized by a lake of frozen ice.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 27, 2008, 02:20:07 AM
Well!

If you read the last few cantos of Dante's Inferno (I assume you've heard of it, even though Handel never wrote an opera on the subject), you'll find that the deepest circles of Hell are characterized by a lake of frozen ice.

I can only assume you've never heard Kempff..  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on June 27, 2008, 02:21:30 AM
I can only assume you've never heard Kempff..  ::)

Your assumption is incorrect.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 27, 2008, 02:32:02 AM

Also look for the Quatuor Mosaïque recordings of the Op. 18 Beethoven string quartets and the recordings of Quatuor Turner (their Op. 18 quartets is sadly oop :()


Here in Taiwan I am surprised to see copies of Turner Op. 18 in record stores.... It may have been back in print!  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on June 27, 2008, 04:53:04 AM
Here in Taiwan I am surprised to see copies of Turner Op. 18 in record stores.... It may have been back in print!  :)

That does surprise me too. That recording is ok, not perfect by any means, but ok. The Quator Mosaique's Op18 I can't recommend at all, everything is just so slooooowwww.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on June 27, 2008, 06:11:56 AM
Here in Taiwan I am surprised to see copies of Turner Op. 18 in record stores.... It may have been back in print!  :)

The Q. Turner isn't listed in the artists pages of Harmonia Mundi although if you go through their index of Beethoven recordings you can find their latest recording I cited previously of middle period quartets.  I suspect that you have found a few extra issues for the Asia market which seems to get a higher volume of HIP recordings than the USA.  If it's not oop there, I'd be very surprised.  Is the cover the same as below?

(http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn238/Bunny0023/TURNER18SMALL2.jpg)


That does surprise me too. That recording is ok, not perfect by any means, but ok. The Quator Mosaique's Op18 I can't recommend at all, everything is just so slooooowwww.

I like the Quatuor Mosaïques Beethoven!  At first I was put off by the slow tempos, but after a while, I became caught up in the music and it really worked.  It's not an in-your-face piece of speedy virtuousity but more of a leisurely stroll through Beethoven in his most optimistic youth.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 28, 2008, 02:11:20 AM
If it's not oop there, I'd be very surprised.  Is the cover the same as below?

(http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn238/Bunny0023/TURNER18SMALL2.jpg)



Yes.  I bought mine years ago, saw it disappeared for quite a while, and now see it reappear
on shelves.  Who knows?  It may be one of those "pressed on demand" issues from HM.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on June 28, 2008, 06:50:34 AM
Btw, that's a scan of the piece of "cardboard" I got when I purchased the set that was supposedly in Used-very good condition.  You will notice that the staples are completely rusted.  It was the first and only time I gave a seller no stars and a totally negative rating.  Amazon actually took action and refunded my purchase money.  I doubt that seller is still selling at Amazon under the same name.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on June 29, 2008, 04:07:24 AM
No, my preference is for the sound of period instruments too. However, I would never demean the musicianship of the older artistes, even though some of their performance practices are not to my taste. As an example, I would love to hear a pianist of the calibre of Kempff playing the late sonatas on a Graf... :)

8)

Splendid idea, and I think everyone of us sometimes plays with thoughts like this. But on the other hand: do you think the Graf would suit Kempffs playing style, - would he be able to play the Graf in a convincing way? Nor do I think, he would be interested, - his world of expression originated from the possibilities of the modern concert grand. Not HIP, but still great music-making.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on June 30, 2008, 07:43:06 PM
Another completed cycle of LvB sonatas for pianoforte and violin on period instruments:

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MNEZ319SL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 01, 2008, 05:02:07 AM
Given the fact that Ronald Brautigam's much praised recording of Beethoven sonatas were (and are) done on fortepianos, it was surprising for me to learn that he and Andrew Parrott decided to record the concertos with modern instruments.   An interesting option, just like Andrew Manze's "Eroica."

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BpaM8ysML._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 01, 2008, 05:13:19 AM
Beethoven
Violin Concerto, 2 Romances for violin and orchestra
Thomas Zehetmair, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Frans Bruggen


I see this CD almost every time I go to buy CDs. I have been intent on widening my collection in terms of repertoire, that I didn't realise that this was HIP Beethoven. My only performance of the concerto is the one with Menuhin and Furtwangler (EMI GRotC). Is the aforementioned HIP performance good?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 01, 2008, 05:25:23 AM
Beethoven
Violin Concerto, 2 Romances for violin and orchestra
Thomas Zehetmair, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Frans Bruggen


I see this CD almost every time I go to buy CDs. I have been intent on widening my collection in terms of repertoire, that I didn't realise that this was HIP Beethoven. My only performance of the concerto is the one with Menuhin and Furtwangler (EMI GRotC). Is the aforementioned HIP performance good?

Yes..HIP Beethoven in grand style (but not slow at all)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 01, 2008, 05:33:15 AM
Yes..HIP Beethoven in grand style (but not slow at all)

I think I read about that somewhere. The second movement is one of my favourites. I wonder how it sounds sped up...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 01, 2008, 06:39:48 AM
The second movement is one of my favourites. I wonder how it sounds sped up...

Sounds less like a dream and more like a concert aria sung by the solo violin.   Ditto the two romances. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on July 01, 2008, 07:03:18 AM
Given the fact that Ronald Brautigam's much praised recording of Beethoven sonatas were (and are) done on fortepianos, it was surprising for me to learn that he and Andrew Parrott decided to record the concertos with modern instruments.   An interesting option, just like Andrew Manze's "Eroica."

Disappointing. I wonder what kind of expression these HIP pioneers want to put into the music, which can not be made on period instruments.
Is their decision just governed by the wish of making the recordings eatable to non hip listeners, which still are in the majority?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on July 01, 2008, 01:06:04 PM
Given the fact that Ronald Brautigam's much praised recording of Beethoven sonatas were (and are) done on fortepianos, it was surprising for me to learn that he and Andrew Parrott decided to record the concertos with modern instruments.   An interesting option, just like Andrew Manze's "Eroica."



Who knows, perhaps one day they will do the concertos with a period orchestra and fortepiano as well.  It is a bit of a disappointment as there are more than sufficient Beethoven concerto recordings on modern instruments.

Does anyone know what type piano Brautigam uses for the concertos?  Hopefully not another Model D.

In any event, you can still listen to Brautigam's BBC recording on a fortepiano of the 4th concerto (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/pip/4ok4g/) with Charles Hazlewood and Harmonieband.  Of course, you also have to listen to the lecture... >:(

Or you can skip 26 minutes ahead to the recording. ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on July 02, 2008, 06:01:26 AM
As I was just listening to Brautigam's recording of Haydn piano concertos made with the Concerto Copenhagen (also on Bis) I just regret that the same forces didn't record the Beethoven.  What a lovely recording that is!

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/17/30/5c0c729fd7a06477cdd9e010.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 04, 2008, 05:43:33 PM
Splendid idea, and I think everyone of us sometimes plays with thoughts like this. But on the other hand: do you think the Graf would suit Kempffs playing style, - would he be able to play the Graf in a convincing way? Nor do I think, he would be interested, - his world of expression originated from the possibilities of the modern concert grand. Not HIP, but still great music-making.

The crossover efforts by Peter Serkin are actually very good as well - especially in the Hammerklavier sonata.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 04, 2008, 06:05:20 PM
Splendid idea, and I think everyone of us sometimes plays with thoughts like this. But on the other hand: do you think the Graf would suit Kempffs playing style, - would he be able to play the Graf in a convincing way? Nor do I think, he would be interested, - his world of expression originated from the possibilities of the modern concert grand. Not HIP, but still great music-making.

Well, yes and no. Nearly all the great fortepianists started out on modern pianos. They just learned technique and got into it. One of the very first, and still among the very best, was Paul Badura-Skoda, and he plays both (a Bösendorfer when he feels like it) very well indeed. Your points are well taken, but I don't think it is out of the question for a great piaist to go both ways. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
 Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture Op 49
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 04, 2008, 09:16:01 PM
Paul Badura-Skoda, and he plays both (a Bösendorfer when he feels like it)

This is somewhat OT, but a Bösendorfer can also be a fortepiano.  Founder of the oldest piano manufacturer still producing its own instruments, Ignaz Bösendorfer was already making pianos in 1828.  Some of his creations have survived.  Wolfgang Brunner played a "Besendorfer" fortepiano on a Profil recording called "Friends of Schubert."

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/66/609866.jpg)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 08, 2008, 03:39:18 PM
(http://pixhost.eu/avaxhome/avaxhome/2008-06-21/frontslc7_874_orig.jpg)

Worth every penny of its purchase price -- well performed and wonderfully recorded.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 08, 2008, 03:45:11 PM
This is somewhat OT, but a Bösendorfer can also be a fortepiano.  Founder of the oldest piano manufacturer still producing its own instruments, Ignaz Bösendorfer was already making pianos in 1828.  Some of his creations have survived.  Wolfgang Brunner played a "Boesendorfer" fortepiano on a Profil recording called "Friends of Schubert."


Yes, very true. But Skoda plays a modern Bösendorfer Imperial on his Beethoven sonatas set (which I believe Todd reviewed quite favorably). It's OK with me, although I'll take the version on the 3 different fortepianos. :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
St George VCs - Nishizaki Köln CO / Müller-Brühl - Saint-Georges Concerto in G for Violin Op 8 2nd mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 08, 2008, 03:46:51 PM

Worth every penny of its purchase price -- well performed and wonderfully recorded.  :)

Applying the spurs, FT! :)  I still think I will wait for its appearance in the States before plunging in. I just wish it wouldn't take so damn long... :-\

8)

----------------
Listening to:
St George VCs - Nishizaki Köln CO / Müller-Brühl - Saint-Georges Concerto in G for Violin Op 8 2nd mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 08, 2008, 03:55:13 PM
Applying the spurs, FT! :)  I still think I will wait for its appearance in the States before plunging in. I just wish it wouldn't take so damn long... :-\

Well I am sure you will love the recording (and performance) when you receive your own copy!  In any case, the alpha website has the entire first movement of the 6th uploaded for public previewing if anyone needs a bit of confirmation.  :)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 08, 2008, 04:56:59 PM
Well I am sure you will love the recording (and performance) when you receive your own copy!  In any case, the alpha website has the entire first movement of the 6th uploaded for public previewing if anyone needs a bit of confirmation.  :)



Alpha-prod.com has the finale to Beethoven's arrangement of the Violin Concerto on its site. (I consider it an affectation to call this arrangement the 6th Concerto; Beethoven did not do so.) Like its predecessor recording, it is overbalanced towards the winds and timpani, making it impossible to hear important upper string lines in heavy tuttis. And it sounds as if once again the performers think that the first and second violin parts should be given to solo players while they use two players on the lower strings. (Any beginning student of orchestration knows that violin 1 and 2 do not indicate individual players but two separate instrumental parts to be given to multiple players. If you have to limit the lower strings to two each, at least have two first violins and two seconds for balance.) The pianist is not as rhythmically sloppy as he is in the Emperor finale, but he once again shows as in the first movement of 4 that he hasn't the slightest idea how to create a cadenza. Hopefully he uses Beethoven's piano/timpani cadenza for the first movement, as that is the most interesting aspect of the arrangement. I wonder if the album notes once again spend more time discussing the uninteresting cover art than the music, but I don't intend to spend 19 euros to find out.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 08, 2008, 05:05:36 PM
Alpha-prod.com has the finale to Beethoven's arrangement of the Violin Concerto on its site. (I consider it an affectation to call this arrangement the 6th Concerto; Beethoven did not do so.) Like its predecessor recording, it is overbalanced towards the winds and timpani, making it impossible to hear important upper string lines in heavy tuttis. And it sounds as if once again the performers think that the first and second violin parts should be given to solo players while they use two players on the lower strings. (Any beginning student of orchestration knows that violin 1 and 2 do not indicate individual players but two separate instrumental parts to be given to multiple players. If you have to limit the lower strings to two each, at least have two first violins and two seconds for balance.) (snipped) Hopefully he uses Beethoven's piano/timpani cadenza for the first movement, as that is the most interesting aspect of the arrangement. I wonder if the album notes once again spend more time discussing the uninteresting cover art than the music, but I don't intend to spend 19 euros to find out.

Well, Schoonderwoerd discussed in the booklet the reason why he used only 2 violins for accompaniment.  I consider his essay part of the value of the recording, and yes it's worth every penny I paid for it.  :)

EDIT: No he used a 5.5 octave instrument to play the 6th so Beethoven's own cadenza, composed later for a 6-octave fortepiano, couldn't be used. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 08, 2008, 05:25:50 PM
Well, Schoonderwoerd discussed in the booklet the reason why he used only 2 violins for accompaniment.

Actually he doesn't. Nor does he explain why he lets his woodwinds so dominate in the tuttis in the finale of 5 that the sixteenth notes in the first violin are barely audible. (I'll have to upload a scan of the score or find the measure numbers if needed.) But his little room accommodating 24 players could have easily fit another two violins.

But the whole premise is faulty to start with, to my mind. As the booklet states, the idea of playing the concertos in small rooms came from Czerny, in direct opposition to Beethoven's suggestion that the Emperor be played in a large hall. And in fact the 4th concerto was first performed publicly in the Theater an der Wien - a particularly large hall - in 1808, along with symphonies 5 and 6 and the Choral Fantasy. Beethoven himself gives unmistakable clues as to the size of his orchestra for 6, in that the slow movement has parts for two solo celli along with the "tutti violincelli" - and so therefore common sense tells us Beethoven would have expected an orchestra with at least four celli, and other strings in proportion. It does make sense - and even Charles Rosen, no friend to HIP, concedes as much - to reduce the number of strings to one each during solo passages, and this works very well in the Alpha recording during the development section of 4, but not the tuttis. And if Beethoven himself favored a larger hall with presumably a larger orchestra for his concertos, then well -- duh . . . .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 08, 2008, 05:28:10 PM
Actually he doesn't. Nor does he explain why he lets his woodwinds so dominate in the tuttis in the finale of 5 that the sixteenth notes in the first violin are barely audible. (His little room accommodating 24 players could have easily fit another two violins.)

He does in this one (nos. 3 & 6).  Check it out yourself.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 08, 2008, 05:34:03 PM
He does in this one (nos. 3 & 6).  Check it out yourself.

Only if I find it remaindered for pennies at a used CD store. I don't intend to throw away the equivalent of 19 euros - $30 American - to hear another of Sch.'s little noodling cadenzas, when I can pay far less to hear pianist on a modern piano play Beethoven's own.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 08, 2008, 05:36:48 PM
Only if I find it remaindered for pennies at a used CD store. I don't intend to throw away the equivalent of 19 euros - $30 American - to hear another of Sch.'s little noodling cadenzas, when I can pay far less to hear pianist on a modern piano play Beethoven's own.

I am not about to quibble with YOUR taste.  Suit yourself.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 08, 2008, 05:55:51 PM
I am not about to quibble with YOUR taste.  Suit yourself.

Quibble or not as you like. Schoonderwoerd's inadequate cadenzas for 4 are enough to compromise the recording for me, its other inadequacies notwithstanding. He takes the stance - perfectly reasonable on the face of it - that the soloist is free to create his own cadenzas. But for the first four concertos, Beethoven wrote cadenzas of his own, sometimes several for the same movement, and it's clear he felt sufficiently interested in showing what he expected a cadenza to be that late in life he wrote examples for 1 and 2, as the largest cadenza for 1 uses piano figuration derived from the Appassionata as well as a 6-octave keyboard.

Legalistically speaking, no performer is obligated to use Beethoven's cadenzas, though most are willing - and I daresay humble enough - to do so. But I would think even a master such as Schoonderwoerd would recognize that if Beethoven left cadenzas, he did so as a model for what he thought a cadenza should be. And in Beethoven's first movement cadenzas, these are not just figurations loosely tied to the material of the piece but elaborate, lengthy, highly modulatory virtuosic vehicles that serve both as codas to the movement and secondary development sections. The cadenza to 3 - I'm sure Schoonderwoerd doesn't use it - is in particular a masterpiece, revealing all kinds of new light on the primary material. But they are all fine examples.

The score of 4 gives yet another clue as to what the first movement cadenza should be like, which is that in the finale, Beethoven's instruction regarding its cadenza reads: "La cadenza sia corta." Obviously if the cadenza to the finale should be short, then the cadenza to the first movement should be - well, I won't even do the math for you. And Beethoven's surviving first movement cadenzas are between 3-5 minutes. (One could even say the ones for 1 and 2 are so elaborate and mature as to overwhelm these charming early works.) But Schoonderwoerd's two cadenzas to 4 are both about 30 seconds long, and show no sign of having learned from Beethoven's surviving models.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 08, 2008, 06:52:15 PM
Examples where an important 1st violin line is lost on this recording because the lone violinist cannot compete with the rest of the orchestra.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 08, 2008, 07:24:08 PM
Only if I find it remaindered for pennies at a used CD store. I don't intend to throw away the equivalent of 19 euros - $30 American - to hear another of Sch.'s little noodling cadenzas, when I can pay far less to hear pianist on a modern piano play Beethoven's own.

I would strongly advise you against spending even a single penny on that. In fact, after hearing Schoonderwoerd's recordings of the 3rd and 5th concertos, you would literally have to pay me large amounts of money to make me listen to more of this inadequate crap. And mind you, I am someone who has been extremely interested in HIP and other interpretive styles and approaches of all kinds and played both in period instrument and modern ensembles with period approaches for a long time. In theory, I found the idea of playing these works with a chamber-sized ensemble at least interesting, after all, I have myself organized and participated performances of several Beethoven symphonies and the violin concerto with an ensemble with as small a string section as 4-4-3-3-2, with some quite interesting and rewarding results.
But this here is simply nonsense from a musical and musicological point of view in theory and practice, and Schoonderwoerd is simply not good enough a pianist to play these concertos in public, let alone make recordings of them. Here we have the carricature of HIP at its worst. This is somthing that might have happened in the 70s and invited the at the time fairly typical comments that apparently only third-rate musicians use this as a vehicle to carve out a niche for themselves, and while back then, it was often an unfair attack levelled at musicians who really dared to challenge and experiment, in this case, it is true in every respect.
This is so bizarrely bad on so many levels that it is in a way even saddening to see that someone who is as inadequate a pianist, as untrustworthy as a scholar, and simply as irrelevant as a performing artist in this repertoire, manages to gain attention for his completely mediocre contributions.
And this after decades of very serious and very fruitful efforts by many very good musicians to seriously explore the possibilities and implications of period performance, with many highly interesting, stimulating, and challenging results. This stuff is none of the above. It is just plainly very bad.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 09, 2008, 04:50:49 AM
Actually he doesn't. Nor does he explain why he lets his woodwinds so dominate in the tuttis in the finale of 5 that the sixteenth notes in the first violin are barely audible. (I'll have to upload a scan of the score or find the measure numbers if needed.) But his little room accommodating 24 players could have easily fit another two violins.


The reason he uses one instrument per part was that this arrangement replicates that of the very first (private) performance of the 4th Concerto. It is all a matter of the venue and it's acoustics, but I'd rather have a relatively small band than a huge orchestra for this music. Certainly I've never heard a grander and more effective performance of the 5th than Schoonderwoerd's with is tiny orchestra. Especially the first movement. Really this recording has no competition at the moment. It is the first choice for B's 5th concerto.

The 4th on this disk plods a bit in the first movement, and the second is under played, but the Rondo has some balls to it.

Overall worth buying just for the first movement of the 5th on its own!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 09, 2008, 06:49:12 AM
The reason he uses one instrument per part was that this arrangement replicates that of the very first (private) performance of the 4th Concerto.

He does not use one instrument per part. He uses one 1st violin, one 2nd, two violas, two celli, and a bass. What's the sense of that?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on July 09, 2008, 06:55:18 AM
He does not use one instrument per part. He uses one 1st violin, one 2nd, two violas, two celli, and a bass. What's the sense of that?

There's a little knowledge is a dangerous thing for you!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 09, 2008, 12:03:03 PM
He does not use one instrument per part. He uses one 1st violin, one 2nd, two violas, two celli, and a bass. What's the sense of that?

The 2 violas and celli are divided. But this recording proves a 20/21 piece orchestra can do the job and do it very well.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 10, 2008, 09:31:35 AM
The 2 violas and celli are divided. But this recording proves a 20/21 piece orchestra can do the job and do it very well.

Not if the first violin is inaudible. If you had studied the score, you'd know there is one passage in the finale of 4 where divided violas are required, and several passages that call for a solo cello accompanying the soloist - meaning (duh!) that at least 2 celli were expected. But that is not the point. There is no possible justification for having a single 1st violinist as well as a single 2nd, as the upper string lines have no chance of being heard against the rest of the ensemble. And this is precisely what happens on the Alpha recording. Even our Brechtian* friend above set his small ensemble as 4-4-3-3-2. Orchestras always have a larger number of violinists than lower string players, to ensure the important melodic upper lines carry. A disposition of 4-4-3-3-2 would be fine, as would 3-3-2-2-1, or even (if absolutely necessary) 2-2-2-2-1. But not 1-1-2-2-1. That's unbalanced.

-------------------------
*Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 11, 2008, 01:30:44 AM
... But that is not the point. There is no possible justification for having a single 1st violinist as well as a single 2nd, as the upper string lines have no chance of being heard against the rest of the ensemble.

Well the point is that I believe there was only one violin per part in the premier of the 4th. On record at least it works, this CD proves that. The right acoustic is required of course. Maybe a few more fiddles would be more ideal, but this doesn't detract from the quality of the performance in question. And the sound quality is beyond superb.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 11, 2008, 02:19:43 AM
Well the point is that I believe there was only one violin per part in the premier of the 4th. On record at least it works, this CD proves that. The right acoustic is required of course. Maybe a few more fiddles would be more ideal, but this doesn't detract from the quality of the performance in question. And the sound quality is beyond superb.

Actually in many ways the performance is inadequate, mainly on the pianist's part. Worst of all is the finale of the Emperor, where his rhythms in the main theme are sloppy, thus compromising the intended effect of the syncopation on the highest note. (The orchestra's playing of this same material in their tutti puts him to shame.) He also fakes the difficult passages in broken octaves and (in the opening movement of 4) has trouble managing the 16th-note triplets as written. And what's with the arpeggios in the fortissimo recap in 4? Beethoven didn't write that, and Sch's emendation is no improvement. Overall too (and I subjected myself to his Emperor once more last night to be sure), I get the feeling that the whole performance is downbeat-heavy, as if he isn't shaping the performance in larger 4, 8, or 16-bar units. It's
really not a good job.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 11, 2008, 05:23:19 AM
Actually in many ways the performance is inadequate, mainly on the pianist's part. Worst of all is the finale of the Emperor, where his rhythms in the main theme are sloppy, thus compromising the intended effect of the syncopation on the highest note. (The orchestra's playing of this same material in their tutti puts him to shame.) He also fakes the difficult passages in broken octaves and (in the opening movement of 4) has trouble managing the 16th-note triplets as written. And what's with the arpeggios in the fortissimo recap in 4? Beethoven didn't write that, and Sch's emendation is no improvement. Overall too (and I subjected myself to his Emperor once more last night to be sure), I get the feeling that the whole performance is downbeat-heavy, as if he isn't shaping the performance in larger 4, 8, or 16-bar units. It's
really not a good job.

Well the 4th plods a bit I have mentioned already, but this is not an issue of orchestral size. I don't really play Nr4 much from this disk but I still say the 5th is the best available. He uses an untypical approach in the finale of the 5th but I think it works. Everything else sounds rather tame to me after this recording.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 11, 2008, 06:07:43 AM
Well the 4th plods a bit I have mentioned already, but this is not an issue of orchestral size. I don't really play Nr4 much from this disk but I still say the 5th is the best available. He uses an untypical approach in the finale of the 5th but I think it works. Everything else sounds rather tame to me after this recording.

Whatever.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 11, 2008, 06:22:40 AM
Whatever.

 ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on July 11, 2008, 09:30:19 PM
Doesn't surprise me there are some who don't like Schoonderwoerd's (radical) approach, but I personally think it's gorgeous.  One of the highlights of my Beethoven collection, that's for sure; I'm quite looking forward to hearing his newest release, the Third Piano Concerto and Op. 61a, the latter of which will be the first recording of this work on period instruments (that I know of). 

And 'hi,' Rod!  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2008, 01:55:34 PM
Doesn't surprise me there are some who don't like Schoonderwoerd's (radical) approach, but I personally think it's gorgeous.

It's not "radical", it's just plain bad. That's the problem with that, pseudos can easily hide behind being "radical" and "challenging" even if they aren't, and any criticism can be deflected easily - after all, since the approach is so "radical" and "challenging" and "unusual", every criticism can be filed away as simply not understanding the new approach. Very convenient. That doesn't change the fact that there is a lot very wrong and very bad about these performances, and it should be obvious immediately, just as it should be obvious that what we have here is a mediocre pianist drawing attention to himself with gimmicky, pseudo-HIP performances. Sforzando has already pointed out some simply very bad passages, and many more could be listed. But then this subject isn't that interesting.

I am not suprised though that some people find that approach "interesting" and "exciting" and other interpretations "tame" in comparison. I can understand why some shallow listeners find that bang and slash fest "exciting", and Schoonderwoerd's interpretive "style" is so sledgehammer that even the most uninformed and inexperienced listener can actually hear big differences to more "conventional" interpretations, ao it gives them the feeling of "understanding" what's going on.

So all in all, this is not "HIP Beethoven", this is "pseudo-HIP Beethoven" for idiots and the hard-of-hearing.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 12, 2008, 03:57:32 PM
So all in all, this is not "HIP Beethoven", this is "pseudo-HIP Beethoven" for idiots and the hard-of-hearing.

Well, whatever. :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 12, 2008, 04:03:17 PM
It's not "radical", it's just plain bad. That's the problem with that, pseudos can easily hide behind being "radical" and "challenging" even if they aren't, and any criticism can be deflected easily - after all, since the approach is so "radical" and "challenging" and "unusual", every criticism can be filed away as simply not understanding the new approach. Very convenient. That doesn't change the fact that there is a lot very wrong and very bad about these performances, and it should be obvious immediately, just as it should be obvious that what we have here is a mediocre pianist drawing attention to himself with gimmicky, pseudo-HIP performances. Sforzando has already pointed out some simply very bad passages, and many more could be listed. But then this subject isn't that interesting.

I am not suprised though that some people find that approach "interesting" and "exciting" and other interpretations "tame" in comparison. I can understand why some shallow listeners find that bang and slash fest "exciting", and Schoonderwoerd's interpretive "style" is so sledgehammer that even the most uninformed and inexperienced listener can actually hear big differences to more "conventional" interpretations, ao it gives them the feeling of "understanding" what's going on.

So all in all, this is not "HIP Beethoven", this is "pseudo-HIP Beethoven" for idiots and the hard-of-hearing.

It just makes me sort of sad that I've listened to and enjoyed music for most of my life and I had to wait this long to finally meet the one person who completely understands and could have explained it all to me. :-\  How could I have been such a fool? Actually enjoying something that is tepid, mediocre horseshit! And really, at this point in my life, it is way too late to go back and start over again, so I suppose I'll just have to shuffle along like a semideaf, deluded idiot right to the grave. And leave all that GOOD music for someone else to listen to. :'(

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Mozart - Academy of Ancient Music / Robert Levin - K 452 Quintet in Eb for Fortepiano & Winds 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2008, 04:40:44 PM
Huh? Are you saying you actually like that? I don't understand your sarcasm there. What are you talking about? Pointing out some obviously very bad and musically nonsensical playing doesn't mean that one can "explain it all". Nobody completely "understands" the music and "knows" how it should be ideally played, but one doesn't need "absolute" knowledge to hear that someone can obviously not play it very well, but makes a lot of fuss about performance circumstances in order to style himself as a bold and daringly explorative performer when in reality, these performances, apart from many very basic and very drastic shortcomings, are just a freakshow of "HIP"-clichés. The phrasing, the accentuation, the note lengths, a lot of that is just grotesquely formulaic and often clouds rather than enhances the musical substance. Sforzando already pointed out how Schoonderwoerd completely distorts the rhythmic nature of the theme in the 5ths finale, a good example for how he tries to make things sound different with his sledgehammer approach, but just to sound different, not because there is any musical sense to it. Similarly, why does he play the last note of the 3rd first subject so long? Just to sound "different"? What is the musical sense behind that?

I can understand that someone who can not distinguish himself otherwise in an extremely crowded and dense field such as Beethoven interpretation tries to come up with something that sets him apart from the rest, but I am surprised that some people who I would have thought are more critical and informed listeners (that excludes Mr Corkin, I did not think that of him) buy into that so easily and uncritically.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 12, 2008, 04:53:20 PM
musical substance.

That alone is just impossible to determine and define, and you built a lot of arguments on it as if you knew exactly what that is.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 12, 2008, 05:01:19 PM
Being critical or uncritical isn't really the issue, is it? I mean, do I have to sit with a score like Sfz and then, only if it passes my critical inspection, can I allow myself to enjoy it somewhat? As it happens, I can hear the violins quite well in my recording, can't you? So even if Sfz is correct in his counting (and I really don't know if he is or isn't) as long as I can hear them OK, I'm not counting that against.

I agree with you that there is always a certain amount of slobbering fanaticism that accompanies various releases, especially when they have a different turn to them (right or wrong), but this is not an exclusive fault of the HIP market, it goes along with classical music in general. I have read tons of reviews of all sorts of recordings, and you know, I don't usually see what it is that they are all falling about so effusively over. I often like the ones they are tepid about, and don't go nuts over the ones that they do. I figure I'm just not a fanatic at heart. :-\

And another thing, Sfz is already on record a hundred times over as totally disliking period instrument recordings and the back to the past movement in general, so when I read his review of something that is purportedly HIP, I always take it with a grain of salt, because I expect him to dislike it before he has even heard it, and then if, and only if, it ranks with the greatest performances ever made, he will grudgingly admit that it is barely listenable. Which is fine, for him. But for me, I will need to listen to it myself and then decide if I like it. Which I did, and do. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Academy of Ancient Music / Schröder  Hogwood - K 248b 250alt  Symphony in D 3rd mvmt - Andante
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2008, 05:08:52 PM
Quote from: M forever on Today at 09:40:44 PM
musical substance.


That alone is just impossible to determine and define, and you built a lot of arguments on it as if you knew exactly what that is.

Two words taken out of context indeed don't mean much, just as the expression "musical substance" on it own is a very vague term. What's decisive in any case is the context!

The phrasing, the accentuation, the note lengths, a lot of that is just grotesquely formulaic and often clouds rather than enhances the musical substance. Sforzando already pointed out how Schoonderwoerd completely distorts the rhythmic nature of the theme in the 5ths finale, a good example for how he tries to make things sound different with his sledgehammer approach, but just to sound different, not because there is any musical sense to it.

Aha! That makes a whole lot more sense now. I hope I don't have to explain what "musical substance" means in this context? Or do I? I think I may have to after all. The rhythmic nature of the main theme of the 5th concerto's finale is syncopated, and to enhance that, the note lengths play a very important role. Now, there is a basic truism of "HIP" that when two notes are slurred, contrary to "conventional" performance practice, they don't necessarily have to have the same length, in given musical contexts, the first or the second may bo longer or shorter. But what Schoonderwoerd does here makes no sense and indeed clouds rather than enhances the rhythmical nature, just for a musical gimmicky effect, just to be different. And then the orchestra plays it different again, so on top of that, there doesn't seem to be much concept there. There are many, many different ways how this can be musically enhanced, and shaping this convincingly separates the really great pianists from the many others who can also more or less play the notes, but not bring the whole piece across. There is no one "right" or "best" way, that is why it is so interesting to compare performances. But - that doesn't mean that everything is musically right, and this is one very good example. It is also easy to understand why the soloist does that, but it comes from a HIP cliché rather than anything which makes musical sense. There is something like musical sense after all. It's not just random notes on paper. There is a context to them. The role of the interpreter is to enhance the context, not cloud and tear it apart.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 12, 2008, 05:18:20 PM
And another thing, Sfz is already on record a hundred times over as totally disliking period instrument recordings and the back to the past movement in general, so when I read his review of something that is purportedly HIP, I always take it with a grain of salt, because I expect him to dislike it before he has even heard it, and then if, and only if, it ranks with the greatest performances ever made, he will grudgingly admit that it is barely listenable. Which is fine, for him.

I don't keep track of what he normally likes or doesn't like, in this case, the points he raises are very good points.

I personally come from the opposite direction. I am ***extremely*** interested in the subjects of period performance and musical performance style in general, and I have practical experience in that field. Therefore, it is immediately obvious to me that Schoonderwoerd is a total pseudo and a mediocre musicians hiding behind gimmicky effects.

I have to admit though that I was biased when I put those recordings on - but in favor of the idea and the performers. I actually expected them to be really interesting, in some way(s). So when I first listened to them and was a little shocked how bad they are, I listened to them again the next day. And then again. I wanted to like them because I thought the idea was interesting. But they are just too bad.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 12, 2008, 05:37:28 PM
I don't keep track of what he normally likes or doesn't like, in this case, the points he raises are very good points.

I personally come from the opposite direction. I am ***extremely*** interested in the subjects of period performance and musical performance style in general, and I have practical experience in that field. Therefore, it is immediately obvious to me that Schoonderwoerd is a total pseudo and a mediocre musicians hiding behind gimmicky effects.

I have to admit though that I was biased when I put those recordings on - but in favor of the idea and the performers. I actually expected them to be really interesting, in some way(s). So when I first listened to them and was a little shocked how bad they are, I listened to them again the next day. And then again. I wanted to like them because I thought the idea was interesting. But they are just too bad.

Well, I'm sorry (seriously, I am) that you were disappointed. I agree, the idea is a good one. If the execution failed you, that's unfortunate.

I would say this about Schoonderwoerd though. This is not the only recording I have by him, I actually have several although they are mainly solo works. His execution of Classical Era sonatas is first rate. So I don't know if it is the concerto in particular, or Beethoven's music in general which caused him to play out of synch here, but he most generally is not. Something I learned at the feet of the M(aster) is that one shouldn't generally tar and feather a musician based on one recording which you don't like. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Academy of Ancient Music / Schröder  Hogwood - K 319 Symphony #33 in Bb 4th mvmt - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 12, 2008, 06:27:30 PM
I'm ambivalent about HIP Beethoven, and most often come down on the wrong side of critical consensus. For example I love the Collegium Aureum versions of symphonies 3 and 7 (the only ones they recorded), but am totally immune to the 'revelations' of the various Gardiner and Hogwood ones. OTOH, although I love Brautigam's sonatas, I am rather tepid about his recordings of the concertos 1 (good) and 3 (ho-hum). Although he does NOT play a fortepiano in the latter, it's still a HIP conception. BTW it should be noted that the acronym HIP does NOT necessarily convey the use of period instruments (a very vague concept).

When it comes to musical persuasion, very few theoretical tenets hold sway. It all comes down to the proverbial pudding. I've heard a few fortepiano + HIP orchestra Beethoven concertos, and they never failed to annoy me (litterally - I couldn't wait for the disc to end). I just HATE it when I'm supposed to 'get' something and only hear tinny, unsubstantial sounds. In the case of Schoonderwoerd - Cristofori (I have the first disc), it's the other way around: I'm provoked and challenged left and right, but what I hear makes both musical and historical sense. I don't put much credence into pseudo 'historic circumstances' that should enlighten us on the proper context of a given period's performances - if one was to believe the HIP pontiffs, which I don't: they have to show their mettle in aural terms, not in booklet notes. In the case of the Schoonderwoerd Beethoven concertos 4 and 5, there are solid grounds for going the minimalist string complement way in the first decade of the 19th century.

Beethoven would probably have wished for a very large band to perform his concertos and symphonies. Vide Mozart and Haydn: they would have liked nothing more than hearing their works performed with a 60-80 orchestra, but most often had to be happy with a complement 1/4 of that  size - if that. Nobody will ever convince me there's only one way to perform these works. Having a very different alternative like the Schoonderwoerd- Cristofori is a boon. I'm grateful for having learned that 16th notes are not played as they should (thank you Sfz), but that will not change the real aural pleasure I derive from these colourful, vibrant, effusive readings, captured in vibrant, crystal-clear sonics.

I still cherish the Backhaus, Gilels, Pollini, Perlemuter, Rubinstein and Kovacevich Emperors, but Schoonderword & Co. will be on my shelves next to them. I have no idea if they are musically misconceived and badly executed. The first idea is subjective, whereas the second has to be weighed according to its place in the overall context. If in 2008 Gould-Stokowski still has fans, I can understand why Schoonderword-Cristofori titillate and provoke. Who is to tell which way bad taste lies?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 13, 2008, 02:40:34 AM
And another thing, Sfz is already on record a hundred times over as totally disliking period instrument recordings and the back to the past movement in general, so when I read his review of something that is purportedly HIP, I always take it with a grain of salt, because I expect him to dislike it before he has even heard it, and then if, and only if, it ranks with the greatest performances ever made, he will grudgingly admit that it is barely listenable.

Smokescreen and distortion. By and large, I am disappointed with many of the HIP performances I have heard, and have rarely heard ones that rise to the level of the best modern performances I know. Some exceptions that come immediately to mind: Brüggen's Haydn symphonies, Christie's Lully and Rameau, Badura-Skoda's 101 and 106 on Astree, Harnoncourt's Rameau, some of his Bach cantatas, some of his Beethoven (the slow movement of his 9th has to be the most outstanding version I have ever heard - his Pastorale, no thanks). Nor do I pretend to have heard every possible recording, HIP or standard, especially in crowded fields. I try always to discuss only recordings I have heard, without pretending to encyclopedic knowledge of all possible recorded interpretations. I bought this Schoonderwoerd given all the rave reviews I have read here. I was expecting something transcendent. And I was shocked and dismayed by what I actually heard.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 01:56:19 AM
Sign it today!!!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savallbeethoven/
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 16, 2008, 04:51:11 AM
Sign it today!!!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savallbeethoven/
The first half of the sentence in that link says:

Considering Savall's recording of the Eroica is by for the benchmark for this piece

Now I am not signing a petition where whoever wrote it didn't bother fixing a simple grammatical error.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 16, 2008, 05:21:31 AM
The first half of the sentence in that link says:

Considering Savall's recording of the Eroica is by for the benchmark for this piece

Now I am not signing a petition where whoever wrote it didn't bother fixing a simple grammatical error.

In addition to the "by for," the first sentence contains a dangling participle and the second is missing an apostrophe. Of course, the notion that Savall's Eroica is some kind of "benchmark" is ludicrous in itself, but considering that Fontalis has already discontinued the recording, it's unlikely we will be treated to eight more examples of Mr. Savall's Beethovenesque art.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 06:02:59 AM
In addition to the "by for," the first sentence contains a dangling participle and the second is missing an apostrophe. Of course, the notion that Savall's Eroica is some kind of "benchmark" is ludicrous in itself, but considering that Fontalis has already discontinued the recording, it's unlikely we will be treated to eight more examples of Mr. Savall's Beethovenesque art.

Well thanks for pointing these things out chaps, I rushed this out this morning before work and didn't read it through. I have changed the text, but its notion is correct I'm afraid, there's no Eroica to touch this one at the moment. But you're right circumstances may require Savall to record no3 again in addition! But if Immerseel can get a contract for this music surely Savall can too!!

Those who want to sign the petition please see the link in my signature...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 16, 2008, 06:15:35 AM
Those who want to sign the petition please see the link in my signature...

Getting lots of signatures, Rod?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on July 16, 2008, 06:19:26 AM
Yes, Savall's Eroica has the raw energy and power needed for this piece; the brass sing like Napoleonic war-horns and the drums pound out the theme of countless battles...  8)  A brilliant recording, here; would be great to see what he could do with the other 8...  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on July 16, 2008, 06:19:42 AM
The first half of the sentence in that link says:

Considering Savall's recording of the Eroica is by for the benchmark for this piece

Now I am not signing a petition where whoever wrote it didn't bother fixing a simple grammatical error.

That is a spelling error: "by for" should read by far. 

"Considering Savall's recording of the Eroica is by far the benchmark for this piece, it is a crime to the world of art that he has not recorded the other 8 Beethoven symphonies."   

In addition to the "by for," the first sentence contains a dangling participle and the second is missing an apostrophe. Of course, the notion that Savall's Eroica is some kind of "benchmark" is ludicrous in itself, but considering that Fontalis has already discontinued the recording, it's unlikely we will be treated to eight more examples of Mr. Savall's Beethovenesque art.

I'm not sure  "considering"  is a dangling participle as it's being used as the action form of the verb, making it a gerund.
There is also a grammatical error in the second sentence: There is no comma separating the independent clause from the dependent clause, "and hopefully redress it." 

That sentence corrected should read: "This petition aims to draw the world's attention to the matter, and hopefully [to] redress it." 

The "to" is probably optional although "redress"  is being used as an infinitive.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: scarpia on July 16, 2008, 06:26:22 AM
Well thanks for pointing these things out chaps, I rushed this out this morning before work and didn't read it through. I have changed the text, but its notion is correct I'm afraid, there's no Eroica to touch this one at the moment. But you're right circumstances may require Savall to record no3 again in addition! But if Immerseel can get a contract for this music surely Savall can too!!

Those who want to sign the petition please see the link in my signature...

You seem to be suffering from the delusion that record companies are charitable organizations.  They are not.  The only "petition" the record companies will recognize is if someone actually buys the record, which was evidently not the case for this recording.   This is the mechanism insures that performances of high quality are recorded and performances of poor quality are not.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 06:52:24 AM
You seem to be suffering from the delusion that record companies are charitable organizations.  They are not.  The only "petition" the record companies will recognize is if someone actually buys the record, which was evidently not the case for this recording.   This is the mechanism insures that performances of high quality are recorded and performances of poor quality are not.


I do not under any circumstances suffer from this delusion. If Savall produced a new set of these works to the same standard as his Eroica CD they would outsell van Immerseel's recent set by a factor of 50 to 1. That I guarantee. I would promote it indefinitely at my site for one thing! It's a matter of getting the right people for the job, something the CM business is not the best at I admit, hence the petition.  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on July 16, 2008, 06:57:00 AM
In fact, if I'm not mistaken (always a possibility, though! ;D), they reissued the Savall/Eroica recording remastered in 2001...  Why would they do that if it were a poor/underselling recording...?  ??? Hmm... strange.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: scarpia on July 16, 2008, 07:11:45 AM
In fact, if I'm not mistaken (always a possibility, though! ;D), they reissued the Savall/Eroica recording remastered in 2001...  Why would they do that if it were a poor/underselling recording...?  ??? Hmm... strange.

Might have had something to do with the fact that the original company got taken over.  The fact that more recordings were not made might indicate that Savall demanded and exorbitant fee, that the original recording sold poorly, or that Savall was unhappy with the way it turned out didn't want to record any more.  If Savall wants to record more Beethoven presumably he could manage it, he seems to be quite good at promoting himself. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 07:18:52 AM
Might have had something to do with the fact that the original company got taken over.  The fact that more recordings were not made might indicate that Savall demanded and exorbitant fee, that the original recording sold poorly, or that Savall was unhappy with the way it turned out didn't want to record any more.  If Savall wants to record more Beethoven presumably he could manage it, he seems to be quite good at promoting himself. 

There are a lot of maybes in that paragraph! But why downplay something that costs nothing? You can listen to your Karajan re-releases all you like, I'm not stopping you...  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 16, 2008, 07:36:02 AM
I'm not sure  "considering"  is a dangling participle as it's being used as the action form of the verb, making it a gerund.

A gerund functions as a noun. In the following sentence, the first word is a gerund: "Talking things over usually helps."

"Considering" as used above is a participle ("the action form of the verb"), and as written lacked a subject.

But basically I was just razzing the Corkster.  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on July 16, 2008, 08:42:33 AM
A gerund functions as a noun. In the following sentence, the first word is a gerund: "Talking things over usually helps."

"Considering" as used above is a participle ("the action form of the verb"), and as written lacked a subject.

But basically I was just razzing the Corkster.  ;D

Basically I was just razzing you. ;D

 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: scarpia on July 16, 2008, 10:43:43 AM
There are a lot of maybes in that paragraph! But why downplay something that costs nothing? You can listen to your Karajan re-releases all you like, I'm not stopping you...  ::)

Of course it is not worth my time, but your ludicrous assertion that this obscure recording is "by far the benchmark" rankles.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 10:46:29 AM
Proof positive of infinite sales!

If people want the low-down on Beethoven recordings the smart ones come to Uncle Rodders, as thousands, nay millions, done for well over a decade. I haven't received a penny though myself for all the sales I have generated over the years, I confess my business acumen was never as good as my musical acumen. But enough about me. ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 16, 2008, 10:49:49 AM
If people want the low-down on Beethoven recordings the smart ones come to Uncle Rodders, as thousands, nay millions, done for well over a decade. I haven't received a penny though myself for all the sales I have generated over the years, I confess my business acumen was never as good as my musical acumen. But enough about me. ;D

Then your business acumen must be very weak indeed.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: scarpia on July 16, 2008, 10:55:05 AM
If people want the low-down on Beethoven recordings the smart ones come to Uncle Rodders, as thousands, nay millions, done for well over a decade. I haven't received a penny though myself for all the sales I have generated over the years, I confess my business acumen was never as good as my musical acumen. But enough about me. ;D

Well, why not put your money where your mouth is, contact Savall, hire some engineers to record his Beethoven cycle under your direction, and put it on the market.  Then we'll all have to eat crow as you roll in dough.  Or maybe you'll end up in debtors prison.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 10:55:16 AM
Of course it is not worth my time, but your ludicrous assertion that this obscure recording is "by far the benchmark" rankles.


I gather your signature will not be forthcoming?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on July 16, 2008, 10:59:46 AM
Well, why not put your money where your mouth is, contact Savall, hire some engineers to record his Beethoven cycle under your direction, and put it on the market.  Then we'll all have to eat crow as you roll in dough.  Or maybe you'll end up in debtors prison.


Hey you've hit on something there, I don't need Savall!! I could do the music direction myself at least as good!! I've got no money to invest though, as I said my business acumen is not what it could be. What a loss to Art through want of a few Shillings...  :-\
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 16, 2008, 12:08:34 PM
Hey you've hit on something there, I don't need Savall!! I could do the music direction myself at least as good!!

If your music direction is as good as your grammar . . . .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: scarpia on July 16, 2008, 12:26:27 PM
If your music direction is as good as your grammar . . . .

He'll be fine, as long as he doesn't get stuck with orchestral musicians that ask all sorts of supercilious questions, for example:

Principal trumpet to Corkster:  Could you clarify "like Savall does it, but even better"? 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: karlhenning on July 16, 2008, 01:09:02 PM
Then your business acumen must be very weak indeed.

Not his business acumen, only.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 16, 2008, 01:24:29 PM
The Savall recording is a bang-blare-hack-and-slash fest which I can understand some shallow listeners find "exciting", but it is a very one-dimensional performance and seriously lacking in just about any other musical respect. There is no "benchmark" performance for this enormously complex piece of music anyway, but there are many performances in various performing styles which are far better (or "for better") than this, so there is really no need for a complete cycle from him at all. He is really good in his special field of baroque performances although most of what I have heard from him in that area is also rather formulaic, but we really don't need any more pseudo-HIP Beethoven performances, not any more than we need more boring and shallow "conventional" or "traditional" performances on recordings - we already have way too much of all that anyway.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on July 16, 2008, 05:19:14 PM
The Savall recording is a bang-blare-hack-and-slash fest which I can understand some shallow listeners find "exciting", but it is a very one-dimensional performance and seriously lacking in just about any other musical respect.
I take issue with being called a shallow listener.  After years of listening to Karajan and Furtwangler, I found that Savall's recording released the essence of this music.  I've heard Norrington's, several of Karajan's, Furtwangler's, Gardiner's, Bernstein's, the Hanover Band's, Immerseel's, Bohm's, Toscanini's, and many others; none come close.  If you don't like Savall's performance that's fine - say you don't like HIP and be done with it; just don't degrade those who think it's brilliant whilst doing so.  0:)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 16, 2008, 05:32:58 PM
Sorry, I can't do you that favor. I have been very interested in "HIP" for decades, have intensely studied many aspects of period performance and played in period instrument ensembles myself, as well as in "modern" ensembles exploring "historically informed" techniques, so unfortunately, I can't just say "I don't like HIP".

I didn't call you specifically a "shallow listener", but you sure come across as one. You certainly don't seem to know what "HIP" actually is. I don't think you know what "the essence" of this music is either. I don't think anyone really does. I certainly don't. But I know that whatever it is, there isn't much of that in Savall's performance because he doesn't explore the relationships between notes, motifs, phrases, he just forces the music into a fairly tight stylistic straightjacket and parades it around. And a lot of what he does there isn't even necessarily stylistically from the time of the music's composition. There are a number of playing style anachronisms going on (obviously a result of his intense involvement in baroque and his apparently nearly completely non-involvement in late classical music), so one can't even really call that "HIP".
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 16, 2008, 05:46:29 PM
Sorry, I can't do you that favor. I have been very interested in "HIP" for decades, have intensely studied many aspects of period performance and played in period instrument ensembles myself, as well as in "modern" ensembles exploring "historically informed" techniques, so unfortunately, I can't just say "I don't like HIP".

I didn't call you specifically a "shallow listener", but you sure come across as one. You certainly don't seem to know what "HIP" actually is. I don't think you know what "the essence" of this music is either. I don't think anyone really does. I certainly don't. But I know that whatever it is, there isn't much of that in Savall's performance because he doesn't explore the relationships between notes, motifs, phrases, he just forces the music into a fairly tight stylistic straightjacket and parades it around. And a lot of what he does there isn't even necessarily stylistically from the time of the music's composition. There are a number of playing style anachronisms going on (obviously a result of his intense involvement in baroque and his apparently nearly completely non-involvement in late classical music), so one can't even really call that "HIP".

Interesting. I find this "benchmark" recording on the blatant side myself, very aggressive and over-balanced towards the winds. I would like to know in more detail what you mean by the comments I italicized above, and if there are any "HIP" Eroicas you consider successful. I can only say I don't find this recording (even though it uses period instruments and follows most of B's metronome marks) anywhere near as convincing as Erich Kleiber, Klemperer mono, Bernstein NYPhil, or Toscanini 1938, just to take some favorites (I certainly haven't heard more than a small fraction of the available recordings).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on July 17, 2008, 01:33:30 PM
Sorry, I can't do you that favor. I have been very interested in "HIP" for decades, have intensely studied many aspects of period performance and played in period instrument ensembles myself, as well as in "modern" ensembles exploring "historically informed" techniques, so unfortunately, I can't just say "I don't like HIP".

I didn't call you specifically a "shallow listener", but you sure come across as one. You certainly don't seem to know what "HIP" actually is. I don't think you know what "the essence" of this music is either. I don't think anyone really does. I certainly don't. But I know that whatever it is, there isn't much of that in Savall's performance because he doesn't explore the relationships between notes, motifs, phrases, he just forces the music into a fairly tight stylistic straightjacket and parades it around. And a lot of what he does there isn't even necessarily stylistically from the time of the music's composition. There are a number of playing style anachronisms going on (obviously a result of his intense involvement in baroque and his apparently nearly completely non-involvement in late classical music), so one can't even really call that "HIP".
Okay, I guess we'll agree to disagree with this one, but I really don't see the need for name-calling in this instance; it's very unbecoming and counter-productive.  And I know what a historically-informed performance is, thank you very much; I happen to think Savall does a brilliant job with Eroica.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 17, 2008, 04:24:53 PM
Does HIP Beethoven necessarily imply adherence to the metronome marks? The HIP Eroica by the Collegium Aureum boasts quite measured speeds in the allegros, whereas the non HIP Scherchen VSOO Eroica trips along at lightning speed, as per the metronome marks. I personally find the latter more satisfying musically than Savall's, which is interesting mainly for its sound (the instruments and the balances). And by 'interesting' I don't necessarily mean enjoyable. At least not consistently. But I suppose this recording does serve a purpose, if only to show the limitations of academicism.

The good old BPO Böhm is as close to solving most of the Eroica's challenges than any other version I've heard. And the 'mystery' Janowski one is also a crackerjack effort I find hugely involving. Its excitement is genuine and natural, not forced on the music. These two never give the impression that the conductor is on a mission. Hailing from a totally different aesthetic, Colin Davis' stately and immensely imposing SD version is another favourite. I'll take those any day over Savall.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 17, 2008, 05:19:02 PM
Does HIP Beethoven necessarily imply adherence to the metronome marks? The HIP Eroica by the Collegium Aureum boasts quite measured speeds in the allegros, whereas the non HIP Scherchen VSOO Eroica trips along at lightning speed, as per the metronome marks. I personally find the latter more satisfying musically than Savall's, which is interesting mainly for its sound (the instruments and the balances). And by 'interesting' I don't necessarily mean enjoyable. At least not consistently. But I suppose this recording does serve a purpose, if only to show the limitations of academicism.

Well, that's the point, LP, isn't it? That Scherchen is a great performance (as is his equally amazing 8th on the 2-CD set of his I have), but what makes it superior to the Savall (IMO) is Scherchen's sense of the flow and architecture of the work. With Scherchen we get Allegro con brio; with Savall we get dotted half = 60. And even though Savall quotes Beethoven's own statement that the metronome marks are not intended to be applied unvaryingly throughout the movement, Savall seems to be trying grimly and relentlessly at all costs to keep to those posted speeds whether they suit the character of the music or not.

Many conductors, for instance, slow down slightly for the second subject in the first movement; I barely hear this in Savall (or for that matter Norrington LCP), and yet both Schindler and Moscheles concur that Beethoven played his own music with some degree of tempo flexibility. One turns to a 19th-century edition of the piano sonatas like that of von Bülow and Lebert to see metronome marks that vary as the music becomes more tranquil or animated.* And of course conductors in the Furtwängler tradition are well known for considerable tempo fluctuation. So the question is, who are the real HIPsters here? the Savalls and Norringtons who hit the metronome marks and then stick with them like a car on cruise control, or the Bülows and Furtwänglers who respond to the shapes of the phrases in Beethoven's music and adjust their tempos accordingly - as the composer appears to have wished?

I have some other problems with that Savall performance - the overly prominent brass playing for one, but I think he is least satisfactory in the funeral march, and again it's his eye on the metronome that does him in. The great originality of the funeral march is that, although it is ostensibly an A-B-A form, the return to the A section is expanded by the addition of three or four episodes - I call them tropes - that turn this movement into something far more monumental, dramatic, and gigantic. One of these episodes starts at bar 158, with a single fortissimo Ab in the low strings ushering in a passage that in the right hands can sound like a musical depiction of the Last Judgment.** If you want to hear a "benchmark" performance that wrings every drop of intensity out of this section, indeed the whole movement, turn to Bernstein NY Phil. Bernstein really digs into that note, and holds back slightly behind the downbeat to give greater weight to the start of this new episode. Savall on the other hand just drops the Ab strictly in tempo, with virtually no attempt to characterize the episode, and in what feels an almost tame manner.

I think Savall has his moments, mainly in the more active music when he isn't pushing too hard, but for all his period timpani and metronome marks, to my mind he hasn't gotten the full measure of this piece by a long shot.

=========
* http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/6/66/IMSLP03168-Beethoven-PianoSonataNo18Lebert.pdf
**http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/e/e2/IMSLP13851-Beethoven_-_Symphony_No.3__Mvt.II__ed._Unger_.pdf


(Edited to change one sentence where poor proofreading had distorted my intented meaning considerably.)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 17, 2008, 06:33:57 PM
Thanks, Sfz, that's very interesting.

But OTOH there's a limit to the illuminations one gets from the liberties taken by conductors of the Furtwängler generation. I've never taken to any of his Beethoven, because whenever he departs from the main tempo of a movement, it sounds contrived and pasted on. I think that whatever the speed adopted, the chosen tempo should be adhered to with minimal variations from one musical paragraph to another, and certainly not within a phrase. Beethoven knew what he was doing when he wrote tempo indications within a movement.

I'm not sure metronome marks should be followed. Beethoven on crack sounds wrong to me. The anger and trepidation inherent to the music are certainly conveyed, but not the drama and grandeur. And let's not confuse agitation with excitement. I should certainly like to listen to that Bernstein NYP version. The later WP one is excellent but somewhat constrained by Bernstein's powerful bear hug. The music lacks oxygen. Again, my model is Böhm's utterly natural, inevitable pacing. More urgently dramatic in Berlin, more flowingly affectionate in Vienna.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on July 17, 2008, 08:01:39 PM
And I know what a historically-informed performance is, thank you very much

Really? Then you can answer Sforzando's questions about the stylistic anachronisms I mentioned earlier. I am traveling on business, have an extremely long and hard day behind me and as I am sitting here in a hotel room, I don't find the energy to write a detailed reply, even though I would like to continue the discussion and respond to Sforzando's and Pastia's interesting posts.

I will get back into the discussion maybe tomorrow night or on the weekend. In the meantime, you can dazzle us with your HIP expertise, answer Sforzando's questions and refute his criticisms, and explain why you
happen to think Savall does a brilliant job with Eroica.

I will then pick up from there.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 18, 2008, 01:05:33 AM
Thanks, Sfz, that's very interesting.

But OTOH there's a limit to the illuminations one gets from the liberties taken by conductors of the Furtwängler generation. I've never taken to any of his Beethoven, because whenever he departs from the main tempo of a movement, it sounds contrived and pasted on. I think that whatever the speed adopted, the chosen tempo should be adhered to with minimal variations from one musical paragraph to another, and certainly not within a phrase. Beethoven knew what he was doing when he wrote tempo indications within a movement.

I'm not sure metronome marks should be followed. Beethoven on crack sounds wrong to me. The anger and trepidation inherent to the music are certainly conveyed, but not the drama and grandeur. And let's not confuse agitation with excitement. I should certainly like to listen to that Bernstein NYP version. The later WP one is excellent but somewhat constrained by Bernstein's powerful bear hug. The music lacks oxygen. Again, my model is Böhm's utterly natural, inevitable pacing. More urgently dramatic in Berlin, more flowingly affectionate in Vienna.

Actually, with Furtwängler I was being deliberately provocative. I don't like his careening tempo changes myself. But within an overall basic pulse, I think there is room for subtle flexibility as called for by the character of the music. (The other day I played the Hammerklavier Adagio at home twice: first as I normally would, at about metronome eighth=75, and found I took just under 17 minutes for the movement, with a fair amount of tempo fluctuation. Then I set the metronome to Beethoven's eighth=92 and played the entire movement at that speed without variation. It definitely felt more like than an Andante in 2 than an Adagio sostenuto in 6, and what's more, there were any number of passages where I felt I was straining to "keep up" with the metronome when my instincts told me to be more expansive.)

I addressed my skepticism about B's metronome marks in an earlier post on this thread.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 18, 2008, 05:02:47 AM
I just think Savall's Eroica is a bit slick and superficial. The whole work just flies by with basically the same tempo, dynamics, and balance which makes for some extremely tedious listening. In fact as "quick" as this reading is it seems to take much longer to listen to than say Klemperer, who adopts a much more deliberate tempo. The stiffness in tempo as Sforzando mentioned aside, notice how little dynamic contrast there is in the woodwinds. Whether it be oboe or flute they play with the same bland, small-tone, mezzo-piano. I just point out three instances, first at approximately 50 seconds into the movement there is a wind dialogue between flute and oboe. Here it just sounds like a non-event. There is no dept to the tone of the instruments. Again at about 5:50, then again with the flute solo at about 8:05. All in all a very pedestrian effort in my opinion.

If you want to try the first movement you can find it here (https://rcpt.yousendit.com/590426651/f2731f7d9e143 7aa9c3bfc582276adac).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Don on July 18, 2008, 12:04:53 PM
Does HIP Beethoven necessarily imply adherence to the metronome marks?

No.  HIP doesn't even necessarily imply use of period instruments.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 18, 2008, 04:41:18 PM
Quote
No.  HIP doesn't even necessarily imply use of period instruments.

It's a grab bag of ideas and playing techniques, then?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 18, 2008, 04:43:31 PM
No.  HIP doesn't even necessarily imply use of period instruments.

I guess that depends on how informed one wants to be in these matters.  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on August 09, 2008, 10:53:12 PM
This has just been reissued. If I'm not mistaken it's HIP.
Any comments? :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0794881870028.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on August 12, 2008, 10:18:27 AM
This has just been reissued. If I'm not mistaken it's HIP.
Any comments? :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0794881870028.jpg)

Q
I bought it, not very good I'm afraid. Totally lame tempi throughout. But it was very cheap so no great loss. Their disk of Op1 Nr 1 & 2 is much better, though also on the broad side.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2008, 11:13:21 AM
I bought it, not very good I'm afraid. Totally lame tempi throughout. But it was very cheap so no great loss. Their disk of Op1 Nr 1 & 2 is much better, though also on the broad side.

Rod,
Did you find that they keep much the same tempi as the Mosaiques? Even though the playing is lovely on those quartets, the slow tempi drove me nuts. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on August 12, 2008, 12:06:07 PM
Rod,
Did you find that they keep much the same tempi as the Mosaiques? Even though the playing is lovely on those quartets, the slow tempi drove me nuts. :-\

8)

Yep that is true. The Castle Trio are really great with Op1 Nr3 though. By coincidence I've been showcasing this music at my place.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2008, 02:08:59 PM
Yep that is true. The Castle Trio are really great with Op1 Nr3 though. By coincidence I've been showcasing this music at my place.

Oh, I quite agree, I have their recordings and am very fond of them. As far as the Mosaiques go, the tempo issues they have with Beethoven don't carry over into their Mozart at all, and only slightly into their Haydn. I simply can't imagine what causes a group of otherwise excellent players to go down a road less traveled, and less traveled for good reason... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
April 2, 1800 - Prague Chamber Orchestra / MacKerras - K 543 Symphony #39 in Eb 1st mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on August 13, 2008, 08:09:15 AM
Oh, I quite agree, I have their recordings and am very fond of them. As far as the Mosaiques go, the tempo issues they have with Beethoven don't carry over into their Mozart at all, and only slightly into their Haydn. I simply can't imagine what causes a group of otherwise excellent players to go down a road less traveled, and less traveled for good reason... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
April 2, 1800 - Prague Chamber Orchestra / MacKerras - K 543 Symphony #39 in Eb 1st mvmt - Adagio

When I first bought the Mosaïques Beethoven quartets, the tempos just were so off-putting.  Then one day it was the only thing I had available to listen to (on the ipod) so reluctantly I plugged into it.  I was so surprised to find that after about 10 minutes I was not only enjoying it, but completely bowled over by it.  It's something that we aren't used to, but it's the most luxurious Beethoven around. You just sink into it like a plush bed or a perfect bath. It inundates the mind and senses.  Please try listening again!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on August 13, 2008, 10:07:26 PM
Oh, I quite agree, I have their recordings and am very fond of them. As far as the Mosaiques go, the tempo issues they have with Beethoven don't carry over into their Mozart at all, and only slightly into their Haydn. I simply can't imagine what causes a group of otherwise excellent players to go down a road less traveled, and less traveled for good reason... :)
I think this hearkens to the larger issue of a lack of Beethoven's chamber music on period instruments, which is a shame because they're excellent works.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on August 18, 2008, 01:21:01 AM
I think this hearkens to the larger issue of a lack of Beethoven's chamber music on period instruments, which is a shame because they're excellent works.

Indeed. Though the cello sonatas are an exception. And I'm more than satisfied with the rendition by the L'Archibudelli of the string trios. And I'm hopefull that Sepec, Queras and Staier (HM) will give us a first rate piano trios cycle.

Which leaves HIP recordings of the string quartets as the biggest omission... :-\ And perhaps the violin sonatas - though I'm quite happy with my semi-HIP (early piano, not a fortepiano) by Reynolds & Leertouwer (Globe).

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on August 20, 2008, 04:40:40 AM
Which leaves HIP recordings of the string quartets as the biggest omission... :-\ And perhaps the violin sonatas - though I'm quite happy with my semi-HIP (early piano, not a fortepiano) by Reynolds & Leertouwer (Globe).

Q

I wouldn't say the violin sonatas are an omission, the Jaap Schroeder/Jos van Immerseel set on DHM is the best recording of this music, if you can still find it anywhere. I've got a few extracts from it at my site.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 20, 2008, 12:19:16 PM
I wouldn't say the violin sonatas are an omission, the Jaap Schroeder/Jos van Immerseel set on DHM is the best recording of this music, if you can still find it anywhere. I've got a few extracts from it at my site.

Although to be fair, their "Kreutzer" is the worst I've ever heard... :P

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on August 20, 2008, 02:50:50 PM
Although to be fair, their "Kreutzer" is the worst I've ever heard... :P

8)

At least they chose the best of the sonatas to give their worst performance.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 20, 2008, 03:32:32 PM
At least they chose the best of the sonatas to give their worst performance.

Yes, so sad, really... :'(   :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Hanover Band / Roy Goodman - Bia 406 Op 55 Symphony #3 in Eb 2nd mvmt - Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on August 20, 2008, 08:22:00 PM
Which leaves HIP recordings of the string quartets as the biggest omission... :-\
I find this very surprising, especially considering that the String Quartets are probably Beethoven's most popular chamber works outside of his legendary Piano Sonatas.  I was shocked when I couldn't find the Grosse Fuge on period instruments...  Hopefully in a few years some smart period quartet will release a set of the sixteen (or maybe even the seventeen if you count Hess 34) and all will be made right!  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on August 21, 2008, 03:28:26 AM
Although to be fair, their "Kreutzer" is the worst I've ever heard... :P

8)

Then I'm afraid you are deaf Gurn, or worse still you have no taste! :P Certainly the first movement is the best I've heard all things considered. Readers can hear it at my site, if you log in that is...
http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/post940.html#940

Another highlight of this set is the last sonata, which is flawless throughout, and the first movement is also at my site! It doesn't get any better. I'm not saying this set is perfect, but traditional performances are simply so awful for the most part.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Don on August 21, 2008, 04:48:13 AM
It's a grab bag of ideas and playing techniques, then?

Well, I'd say it's different things to different people.  For me, the most important features are use of period instruments and the degree of vibrato.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 22, 2008, 07:07:54 PM
The use of period instruments is pretty much a given. But how about vibrato? Is it not impossible to figure out? Short of a time machine, no one cant tell how it was in the previous centuries.

Recently there was an argument over a proposed vibratoless Norrington Pomp and Circumstance March # 1. Well, at the same time I was listening with glee and much surprise to a Biddulph disc that contained the 1925 electrical recordings of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The whole string section played with such heavily accented portamentos that their vibrato was barely noticeable (but it's there all right). Stokowski was a fellow Englishman of Elgar's and he was conducting those pieces a decade before Elgar's death. IMO that made the whole vibratoless Norrington spoof quite laughable. Isn't a 1925 recording more HIP, re: Elgar than anything that could be imagined today?

Right now I'm listening to some Vivaldi concertos by I Musici (mid sixties). The string vibrato annoys me not, but the heavy organ continuo drives me crazy. Personally I think that HIP means transparency of textures, fluidity of pace and lots of expressive freedom. Within that framework, vibrato becomes an expressive device, no more, no less. I recall with much fondness the Beethoven symphonies 3 and 7 recordings of the defunct Collegium Aureum (and a couple of concertos). Transparency, fluidity and a very variable amount of vibrato marked their conception. Tempi were on the stately side, but there was a vibrancy to the string sound that had as much to do with vibrato than to the combination of these other qualities.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on August 22, 2008, 11:40:29 PM
Isn't a 1925 recording more HIP, re: Elgar than anything that could be imagined today?

Not if it was conducted by someone as manipulative and idiosyncratic as Stokowski. Then it is proof for nothing more than his personal performance practice preferences at the time, but not necessarily for the prevalent performance practice in England at that time or a few decades earlier.

This may be a little too hard to understand for most people, but with all these performance practice questions it's never a question of right or wrong, like this or like that and no other way. It is a question of what expressive means were more or less common, and of good judgment in applying these.

Norrington may be a little too fixated on complete vibratolessness, but he has a few points and makes some interesting and stimulating contributions. I don't see anything "laughable" in that, maybe a little stubbornness but then I would rather listen to someone who is convinced of what he is doing than yet another genius who has no ideas and convictions of his own and just copycats his "interpretations".
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 23, 2008, 01:56:13 PM
There are many Elgar conducted performances readily available to go to the heart of the matter. I used to have the big 8 lp EMI set and I recall it was not much different from what one hears today. Except much faster most of the time.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on September 20, 2008, 12:06:15 AM
Recommended posts! :)

Q

Tonight for our dinner music, a new arrival highly recommended in a recent Fanfare review:

Beethoven - Bagatelles (w/ Fur Elise) performed by Linda Nicholson on a fortepiano:

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/371831600_kHuGt-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/371831605_JwCEZ-M.jpg)

Quoting myself above, but giving this disc a closer listening - the Fanfare review, which is stupendous, can be read HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=858&name_role1=1&comp_id=14424&genre=130&bcorder=195&name_id=20315&name_role=2), if interested; the fortepiano is an original by Johann Fritz, circa 1815 (restored by Christopher Clarke).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on September 20, 2008, 01:43:08 PM
Recommended posts! :)

Q

I reviewed Linda Nicholson's CD at my site ages ago. I'll provide GMG with a more concise analysis - it's a pile of crap.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 20, 2008, 03:21:52 PM
I reviewed Linda Nicholson's CD at my site ages ago. I'll provide GMG with a more concise analysis - it's a pile of crap.

And you are a man who knows crap, so I guess I'll have to give it a miss... :D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Johann Gottfried Eckard: Keyboard Works - Arthur Schoonderwoerd - Op 1 #3 Sonata in f for Fortepiano 1st mvmt - Allegro maestoso e staccato
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 20, 2008, 04:03:58 PM

----------------
Listening to:
Johann Gottfried Eckard: Keyboard Works - Arthur Schoonderwoerd - Op 1 #3 Sonata in f for Fortepiano 1st mvmt - Allegro maestoso e staccato

Fantastic music!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 20, 2008, 04:13:48 PM
Fantastic music!

Yes, it's really very good. I like the same music performed on clavichord (by Spanyi) but the fortepiano here really is the right instrument, I think. This was actually the first music written specifically FOR the fortepiano, so that Eckard could demonstrate its capabilities in Paris, where he was a fortepiano salesman, and it does take advantage of what the instrument had to offer. I suspect he did well. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
ASMitF/ Brown & Consortium Classicum / Klocker - Hoffmeister SC in Bb for Clarinet & Bassoon WoO 1st mvmt - Allegro maestoso
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on September 20, 2008, 06:58:26 PM
I reviewed Linda Nicholson's CD at my site ages ago. I'll provide GMG with a more concise analysis - it's a pile of crap.
I heard the sample he provided and can verify, the technical aspects are a disaster.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on September 21, 2008, 12:16:35 AM
I heard the sample he provided and can verify, the technical aspects are a disaster.
The performances are lame beyond all imagination throughout the whole CD. The sound is so close-miked there is no real differentiation between loud and soft. A great pity because the fortepiano sounds decent. I played my recording once and almost threw it out of the window, I wouldn't even give it away, it's that bad. Packaging is nice though...  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on September 21, 2008, 12:05:52 PM
The performances are lame beyond all imagination throughout the whole CD. The sound is so close-miked there is no real differentiation between loud and soft. A great pity because the fortepiano sounds decent. I played my recording once and almost threw it out of the window, I wouldn't even give it away, it's that bad. Packaging is nice though...  ::)
It would make a lovely cup holder!  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 21, 2008, 02:06:36 PM
It would make a lovely cup holder!  ::)

This is now become irritating since I posted on the recording under discussion -  >:(  Are you & Rod the same person, roomates, or married?  ;)  :)

I bought this disc based an an absolutely superlative review from Fanfare (link already given previously) - but, to get comments based on extremes of the Bell-shaped curve obviously bring into question 'who' may be correct, i.e. a presumably professional reviewer (who I cannot verify) or two obvious 'friends'?  I don't know, but I do not feel that others should be 'turned off' to at least listenting to some tracts of these recordings on a good stereo system.

As a result of these derogatory posts, I again re-listened to this CD (re: Beethoven - Bagatelles - Nicholson), and agree that the 'miking' is indeed close-in, but I actually prefer this preference for earlier keyboard instruments, so I guess just a personal preference - I'm not that familiar w/ the alternative recordings whether w/ a modern piano (or a fortepiano - not sure if other options are available w/ this instrument); this is my problem until listening to mutlitple other recordings of these works.

My bottom line is that when reviews end up at the opposite end of the evaluation spectrum, then a perception issue exists - who's correct?  In that situation, I would suggest doing some personal listening and make a decision - don't reject this disc based on these exaggerated comments - try to take a listen and make a decision based on your own preferences!  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on September 21, 2008, 03:25:49 PM
Well, I'm glad you're able to get some enjoyment out of it, SonicMan.  I urge the potential buyer to listen to some samples of it here (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=647443) before they buy it, though... My two cents.  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on September 21, 2008, 09:31:45 PM
Well, I'm glad you're able to get some enjoyment out of it, SonicMan.  I urge the potential buyer to listen to some samples of it here (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=647443) before they buy it, though... My two cents.  ;)

To my surprise, that site allows samples to be linked! :)

So:
(http://www.classicsonline.com/images/cds/others/ACC24180.gif)
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://cdn.classicsonline.com/preview/ACT/4015023241800_01_01.part.mp3[/mp3]
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://cdn.classicsonline.com/preview/ACT/4015023241800_01_07.part.mp3[/mp3]
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://cdn.classicsonline.com/preview/ACT/4015023241800_01_19.part.mp3[/mp3]
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://cdn.classicsonline.com/preview/ACT/4015023241800_01_20.part.mp3[/mp3]

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on September 22, 2008, 01:07:50 AM
This is now become irritating since I posted on the recording under discussion -  >:(  Are you & Rod the same person, roomates, or married?  ;)  :)
If someone agrees with me it does not mean that we are married or co-habiting or that I am posting under two identities. I'm a Beethoven fortepiano superfan but these performances have about as much life in them as a wet weekend in Bognor. Compare Op33 and Op119 with Melvyn Tan's recording of the same and you'll get my point. Anyway I've said all I'm going to say on the matter, if you like it you like it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on September 22, 2008, 01:20:10 AM
If someone agrees with me it does not mean that we are married or co-habiting or that I am posting under two identities...
Trust me, if Rod and I were roommates one of us would end up killing the other eventually!  :P
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 22, 2008, 07:41:26 AM
Trust me, if Rod and I were roommates one of us would end up killing the other eventually!  :P

LOL!  ;D  Well, I did put in a winky -  ;)  Thanks for the comments - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on September 22, 2008, 08:16:05 AM
Trust me, if Rod and I were roommates one of us would end up killing the other eventually!  :P


Hmmmm . . . .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on September 22, 2008, 08:41:20 PM
Recommended posts! :)

Q

Honestly, though, to bypass the whole debate ... I just don't need a CD with Fur Elise on it. If I hear that thing one more time my entire life, I may jump off the nearest tall building.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 23, 2008, 03:52:52 PM
I just don't need a CD with Fur Elise on it. If I hear that thing one more time my entire life, I may jump off the nearest tall building.

The tune wouldn't, maybe, get stuck in your head if someone mentioned that it might get stuck in your head if someone mentioned it, would it?



Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on September 23, 2008, 03:56:40 PM
Inbox cleared. :)

The tune wouldn't, maybe, get stuck in your head if someone mentioned that it might get stuck in your head if someone mentioned it, would it?
Not while I'm listening to a John Denver CD.  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 23, 2008, 04:03:40 PM
Not while I'm listening to a John Denver CD.  ;D

Ah, John Denver. No contest! ;D


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on September 24, 2008, 07:18:59 AM
Ah, John Denver. No contest! ;D

Then you might be more likely to crash your private plane rather than jump off the nearest tall building.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 25, 2008, 04:17:57 PM
Then you might be more likely to crash your private plane rather than jump off the nearest tall building.

Note to self: no John Denver while flying.


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on October 16, 2008, 12:56:34 PM
I just received my copy of Brautigam's latest volume in his Beethoven Sonata cycle, and I am very happy with what I received.  The Waldstein is the showstopper, but the rest of the cd is also excellent. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Faf3SCuoL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on October 22, 2008, 09:46:01 AM
Does anyone know anything about Hogwood's cycle on period instruments of the symphonies?

Or a recommended period instrument version?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on October 22, 2008, 05:40:41 PM
Does anyone know anything about Hogwood's cycle on period instruments of the symphonies?

Or a recommended period instrument version?
I didn't think Hogwood's was all that great.  As I've noted elsewhere, it's like he fed the scores into a music machine and out popped a symphony cycle.  I thought Gardiner's, Norrington's, and the Hanover Band's were all much better.  I suppose if I had to choose between them I'd pick Norrington's, though he's decided to ruin the Ninth by taking the March at Grave (Hogwood and the Hanover Band do this as well; Gardiner doesn't).  There's also Immerseel's cycle, the samples of which I've heard sound a bit on the bland side...  Unfortunately there's really no definitive HIP Beethoven cycle at the moment.  I'm sure others will have more to say.  Hope this helped.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on October 22, 2008, 08:32:38 PM
Does anyone know anything about Hogwood's cycle on period instruments of the symphonies?

Or a recommended period instrument version?

Overall, I think Hogwood's may be the most interesting Beethoven cycle on period instruments. There is nothing "popped out of a machine" about it. He takes a different approach to every symphony rather than a single, one-size-fits-all approach like most others do. He also explores the circumstances of each symphony's first public performance as far as the numbers of players are concerned. Which means that he actually plays those symphonies, like the 9th, which were premiered with doubled winds, with correspondingly doubled winds and large string sections. His cycle is the least routined, most workshop like, the most explorative in spirit and attitude which makes it so refreshing.
If any period Beethoven cycle ever got "popped out of a machine", it is definitely Gardiner's which is surprisingly, and, given Gardiner's excellent and very nuanced performances of Mozart symphonies and other late 18th century repertoire, disappointly stiff and mechanical, polished and lacking in musical depth and nuance. It doesn't really have much to do with period performance or exploring historical performance practice. It just happens to be played on old instuments, but it is so streamlined and lacking in character that it is really a completely superfluous contribution.
Norrington's cycle with the London Classical Players, on the other hand, is very refreshing and provocative. Unlike Hogwood, whose focus is on historical instruments, playing techniques and performance conditions whose exploration is at his centre of attention, Norrington approaches the music from a decidedly esthetical point of view. The "historical" part of his approach is not so much the instruments and playing techniques, but the historical perspective of the esthetical and ethical substance of the music. He sees the music as first and foremost wanting to make public and dramatic statements, and he explores the theatralic and rhetoric aspects of the music propbably more radically than anyone else. This is a very thought-provoking and "bold" Beethoven cycle which is also realized on a technically very high level. Norrington understands that Beethoven's instrumentation, his use of orchestral color, is central to his rhetoric esthetic. Definitely very worth hearing.
I haven't heard Immerseel's recordings, but after I heard his bland and mechanical Schubert symphonies, I am not at all interested to. The Hanover Band cycle is just substandard in every respect, a byproduct of the times when there were too many musicians in London running around with period instruments because there were too many recordings made of everything by everyone on period insturments.
Then there is also Brüggen's cycle which is simply grotesque because he plays everything on baroque instruments with baroque playing techniques. A bad and sad example for how the whole HIP thing could just go too far and too wrong.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 23, 2008, 07:18:31 AM
I completely agree with M vis-a-vis the Hogwood recordings. Although there is a bit of... ruggedness to them, I hardly think it is inappropriate. I have all the period instrument sets (save Brüggen), and this is my favorite. For several years Gardiner was, but in the last year I have come to realize that in terms of being "historical" in any way, they simply aren't. They are rather more like wonderfully well-played modern versions with period instrument tone color. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but Hogwood puts me far more in mind of "being there". Each symphony receives unique treatment which is appropriate to its particular performance needs, there is no doubt that the same forces performing the 1st, for example, are totally not adequate for the 7th, and they don't try to make it so either. If one listens to this set with that in mind, one can hardly be disappointed. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
François Benda / Benda Musicians - Brahms Quintet in b for Clarinet & Strings Op 115 4th mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on October 24, 2008, 03:56:46 AM
Ah, well, there's no accounting for personal taste, I suppose.  I really tried to like the Hogwood set but just didn't see in it what you guys did...  :(
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on October 24, 2008, 04:08:19 AM
Recommended post - thanks for pointing this interesting disc out, Luke! :)
Pity that Schiff did not pursue in HIP any further... ::)

lukeottevanger
Keep listening to this stunner, since attending a concert a couple of weekends ago at the beautiful home of some local music teachers with a spectacular fortepiano/harpsichord collection. Japanese fortepianist Mariko Koide performed on their 1812 Broadwood, an instrument identical to Beethoven's 1817 instrument except for minor cosmetic differences - and the fact that it sounds even better than his. The op 126 Bagatelles never sounded better, IMO, though Schiff runs them close in his reading on this disc (which is all miniatures - the two sets of Bagatelles plus rare late fragmentary pieces):

(http://www.classicsonline.com/images/cds/HCD11885.gif)

A cliche, I know, but both Schiff's performance on Beethoven's own piano and Koide's on the identical one I heard live had the effect of stripping away layers of varnish from this music (yes, sorry, I said it was a cliche, but it's the way I heard things!). In particular, I've never been so struck by the physicality of the sound as by Koide's playing, and especially by Beethoven's incessant use of registral interplay - it's obvious, of course, played on any instrument, but it positively shoved itself in my face on the Broadwood, the way his use of very high and very low registers, and the interaction between the two, takes on an almost narrative role. The unity of tone of a modern piano glosses over this somewhat - but the rougher, powerful bottom end of a Broadwood and the ethereal higher end really dramatise things greatly. The most haunting example - she played it as an encore too - is the last of the op 126 Bagatelles, in which a low droning bass becomes an almost rasping barrel-organ like whisper, whilst fragments of lullaby float above it sweetly metallic like a child's music box, delicate and glowing. Unforgetable - and unreproducable on a modern piano.

Koide was a remarakble player, and is a passionate Beethoven scholar. I loved her justification for playing on the Broadwood - most people play Beethoven on Viennese pianos, she said, because that's what he wrote most of his piano music on. But (she continued) last time she performed 'here' (at the venue the concert was at) she had the chance to play both sorts of piano side-by-side (she reproduced the contrast for us, and it was shocking). She realised with astonishment that, whereas to play Beethoven (all Beethoven) on a Viennese piano requires extra input from the pianist in terms of little touches of pedal here and there etc., on a Broadwood one simply has to obey his markings - there's no feeling that more is required. So, whether or not the music was written on or for a Viennese piano or a Broadwood, her gut feeling was that the instrument Beethoven imagined in his head as 'piano', his Platonic piano, if you like, was something like a Broadwood. Emiprically speaking, it certainly sounded both more convincing and more musically effective to me.



I removed the quotes around this post so it could be further quoted... GB  8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on October 24, 2008, 06:15:10 AM
Thoughts towards Hogwood's Beethoven Piano Concertos?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 24, 2008, 06:27:02 AM
Recommended post - thanks for pointing this interesting disc out, Luke! :)
Pity that Schiff did not pursue in HIP any further... ::)

lukeottevanger
Keep listening to this stunner, since attending a concert a couple of weekends ago at the beautiful home of some local music teachers with a spectacular fortepiano/harpsichord collection. Japanese fortepianist Mariko Koide performed on their 1812 Broadwood, an instrument identical to Beethoven's 1817 instrument except for minor cosmetic differences - and the fact that it sounds even better than his. The op 126 Bagatelles never sounded better, IMO, though Schiff runs them close in his reading on this disc (which is all miniatures - the two sets of Bagatelles plus rare late fragmentary pieces):

(http://www.classicsonline.com/images/cds/HCD11885.gif)

A cliche, I know, but both Schiff's performance on Beethoven's own piano and Koide's on the identical one I heard live had the effect of stripping away layers of varnish from this music (yes, sorry, I said it was a cliche, but it's the way I heard things!). In particular, I've never been so struck by the physicality of the sound as by Koide's playing, and especially by Beethoven's incessant use of registral interplay - it's obvious, of course, played on any instrument, but it positively shoved itself in my face on the Broadwood, the way his use of very high and very low registers, and the interaction between the two, takes on an almost narrative role. The unity of tone of a modern piano glosses over this somewhat - but the rougher, powerful bottom end of a Broadwood and the ethereal higher end really dramatise things greatly. The most haunting example - she played it as an encore too - is the last of the op 126 Bagatelles, in which a low droning bass becomes an almost rasping barrel-organ like whisper, whilst fragments of lullaby float above it sweetly metallic like a child's music box, delicate and glowing. Unforgetable - and unreproducable on a modern piano.

Koide was a remarakble player, and is a passionate Beethoven scholar. I loved her justification for playing on the Broadwood - most people play Beethoven on Viennese pianos, she said, because that's what he wrote most of his piano music on. But (she continued) last time she performed 'here' (at the venue the concert was at) she had the chance to play both sorts of piano side-by-side (she reproduced the contrast for us, and it was shocking). She realised with astonishment that, whereas to play Beethoven (all Beethoven) on a Viennese piano requires extra input from the pianist in terms of little touches of pedal here and there etc., on a Broadwood one simply has to obey his markings - there's no feeling that more is required. So, whether or not the music was written on or for a Viennese piano or a Broadwood, her gut feeling was that the instrument Beethoven imagined in his head as 'piano', his Platonic piano, if you like, was something like a Broadwood. Emiprically speaking, it certainly sounded both more convincing and more musically effective to me.



I removed the quotes around this post so it could be further quoted... GB  8)

That is very interesting, Luke. I have this disk, and have done for years. Schiff's rendition of Op 126 is my favorite: free-flowing, utterly natural, Es muß Sein. What intrigues me is the bit at the end by Koide. I wonder if Schiff would agree with her, or if he would prefer a Graf. In any case, this is a commendable disk and I hope this mention will entice some potential buyers. They wouldn't regret it. ;-)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
BWV 1080 Art of Fugue - Fretwork - Bach BWV 1080 pt 17 Contrapunctus 13 rectus
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 24, 2008, 06:29:03 AM
Thoughts towards Hogwood's Beethoven Piano Concertos?

I would offer some, except I haven't heard them. Bunny and Que have both talked them up elsewhere here. I stick with Gardiner, not least because of the playing by Robert Levin, brilliant both in technique and musicality. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
BWV 1080 Art of Fugue - Fretwork - Bach BWV 1080 pt 18 Contrapunctusinversus - 18
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 24, 2008, 08:03:46 AM
Recommended post - thanks for pointing this interesting disc out, Luke! :)
Pity that Schiff did not pursue in HIP any further... ::)

Ah, I knew there was a better place to post that! Much better here, thanks!

Gurn, re:

Quote from: Gurn
What intrigues me is the bit at the end by Koide. I wonder if Schiff would agree with her, or if he would prefer a Graf.

Yes, that's what interested me most about her performance. The concert was entitled Beethoven: his dream and the Broadwood Piano (she performed the same concert here (http://www.finchcocks.co.uk/concerts/29Jun.htm) earlier this summer, it seems, though she says the idea was conceived at and for the venue I attended). I suppose that title in itself is a frank admission that her feelings on the matter can only be speculative and empirical, based as they are on her pianistic experience playing both Broadwoods and Viennese pianos, and on the evidence of her ears. After all, the Broadwood was only Beethoven's no. 1 piano between 1817 and 1824 when he acquired the Graf (having said that, these are fairly important years in his piano output, including opp 106-111!). Koide tried to link Beethoven to English pianos earlier than this, for instance, by describing his meetings with Clementi during the latter's long sojourn in Vienna in 1807 (IIRC), and surmising that Clementi would have brought his London piano[ s] with him for this stay. But this kind of argument was only secondary and supportive for her, I think - the empirical sense that she got as a performer was paramount. And I can only reinforce what I said above - the contrast between Viennese and London piano, side-by-side in the same room, the same short fragment of Bagatelle played by the same pianist, was really shocking.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 24, 2008, 08:07:16 AM
Sorry, that was just waffle. Didn't say much I hadn't said before, apart from the Clementi bit!  :-[
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: bassio on October 24, 2008, 09:28:11 AM
Thoughts towards Hogwood's Beethoven Piano Concertos?

IMO .. definitive.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 24, 2008, 10:12:43 AM
Sorry, that was just waffle. Didn't say much I hadn't said before, apart from the Clementi bit!  :-[

Waffle or not, I'll have syrup on it and call it well-fed, thank you. IMO, Clementi doubtless DID travel with his own piano (one couldn't rely on fate to provide, and I know beyond doubt that others, such as Hummel, did so). If her point is that Beethoven must have already been familiar with the English escapement etc., I think there can be little doubt. But the fact that it falls more easily to the fingers on an English rather than a Viennese is what I find interesting, since it would seem to be indicative of his having a greater use of the Broadwood than had been supposed.   :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Spohr Nonet & Octet - The Gaudier Ensemble - Spohr Octet in E for Winds & Strings Op 32 3rd mvmt
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 24, 2008, 11:02:31 AM
Waffle or not, I'll have syrup on it and call it well-fed, thank you. IMO, Clementi doubtless DID travel with his own piano (one couldn't rely on fate to provide, and I know beyond doubt that others, such as Hummel, did so). If her point is that Beethoven must have already been familiar with the English escapement etc., I think there can be little doubt. But the fact that it falls more easily to the fingers on an English rather than a Viennese is what I find interesting, since it would seem to be indicative of his having a greater use of the Broadwood than had been supposed.   :)


What she particularly mentioned (and demonstrated) was the difference in sustain - simply, how long notes hold on whilst the fingers remain depressed - and therefore how performance on a Viennese piano tends to require extra, unmarked pedalling to assist.

As I said, I came away with the idea in my mind - she didn't put it in these terms - that the Broadwood was at least something like the type of piano Beethoven imagined internally. Perhaps his relative separation from the real acoustic facts - because of deafness, of course - led him to rely on this personal 'archetype-piano' more than would be the case with other composers. I don't think it even necessarily has to follow that Beethoven therefore must have known English pianos before 1814. I think it's probably enough that Beethoven, pushing at the limits and in some ways separated from the boring facts of what-pianos-really-sound-like and encouraged towards a more idealistic stance, wrote music which required more than the Viennese piano could always give, and that, as it happened, the Broadwood could. But it's all conjecture - which is what makes it so fascinating, of course!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on October 25, 2008, 01:06:18 PM
IMO .. definitive.

See?  now that's the kind of recommendation I'm looking for.  Thanks!  Now I can remove the shrinkwrap!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on October 25, 2008, 02:11:42 PM
You mean you aren't looking for recommendations which actually explain why they recommend a particular recording, compare it to other available recordings and discuss it in context?

"IMO...definitive" says absolutely nothing at all.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on October 25, 2008, 02:25:16 PM
You mean you aren't looking for recommendations which actually explain why they recommend a particular recording, compare it to other available recordings and discuss it in context?

"IMO...definitive" says absolutely nothing at all.

I interpreted it as "nothing more need be said".  However, you know I'm always interested in hearing more, and from your experienced perspective especially...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: M forever on October 25, 2008, 02:42:02 PM
There is no "nothing more need to be said" when absolutely nothing has been said in the first place. "Definitive" says nothing if it is not backed up. Remember what I wrote about the Haydn cello concerts? Since I said these were among the best recordings of anything I have ever heard, I thought it was necessary to explain in detail why.

Obviously, it is up to every individual poster how much he wants to read or write, but it would just be nice if some people at least tried to contribute actual posts, not just interjections, to actual discussions, not just sequences of autistic posts all blablaing about whatever recordings they just happen to have. A little bit more information and discussion would be much more fun, I think.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on October 25, 2008, 02:57:14 PM
There is no "nothing more need to be said" when absolutely nothing has been said in the first place. "Definitive" says nothing if it is not backed up. Remember what I wrote about the Haydn cello concerts? Since I said these were among the best recordings of anything I have ever heard, I thought it was necessary to explain in detail why.

Obviously, it is up to every individual poster how much he wants to read or write, but it would just be nice if some people at least tried to contribute actual posts, not just interjections, to actual discussions, not just sequences of autistic posts all blablaing about whatever recordings they just happen to have. A little bit more information and discussion would be much more fun, I think.

Valid.  So all that being said...do you know anything about the Hogwood piano concertos?

(BTW, part fo the reason "Definitive" was enough to satisfy me, was bc you and others have attested to the qulaity of other Hogwood projects: the LvB symphonies, Haydn cello concertos, etc.  Whereas if it had been a new name being mentioned that I was unfamiliar with (or had some or overwhelming unfavoable experience with), well, a one word review would hardly satisfy...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on October 27, 2008, 04:31:41 AM
As I said, I came away with the idea in my mind - she didn't put it in these terms - that the Broadwood was at least something like the type of piano Beethoven imagined internally. Perhaps his relative separation from the real acoustic facts - because of deafness, of course - led him to rely on this personal 'archetype-piano' more than would be the case with other composers. I don't think it even necessarily has to follow that Beethoven therefore must have known English pianos before 1814. I think it's probably enough that Beethoven, pushing at the limits and in some ways separated from the boring facts of what-pianos-really-sound-like and encouraged towards a more idealistic stance, wrote music which required more than the Viennese piano could always give, and that, as it happened, the Broadwood could. But it's all conjecture - which is what makes it so fascinating, of course!

Forget the Broadwood and Beethoven. Really they are not very good intruments for his music compared to the Viennese models, which is why the vast majority of Beethoven fortepiano recordings use Viennese designs. I should know because I have most of them. The Broadwoods were pretty crude sounding in comparison - dull, clanky machines lacking in clarity. Anyone who has read all about Beethoven and the pianos of his day will realise that the Viennese models came closer to his ideal, certainly closest to the ideal instrument for playing his compositions (which is really the only thing we should consider). There has been so much propaganda written about the Broadwood it's laughable.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Rod Corkin on October 27, 2008, 04:50:26 AM
I would offer some, except I haven't heard them. Bunny and Que have both talked them up elsewhere here. I stick with Gardiner, not least because of the playing by Robert Levin, brilliant both in technique and musicality. :)

8)

I have Hogwood's piano concerto set. I'd say all of these performances have better alternatives from other recordings on period instruments, but I have been rather disappointed with what I've heard of the Gardiner set.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 27, 2008, 05:59:28 AM
I have Hogwood's piano concerto set. I'd say all of these performances have better alternatives from other recordings on period instruments, but I have been rather disappointed with what I've heard of the Gardiner set.

Certainly you can always build a better set of anything than to buy one already made. But overall I am quite satisfied with the Levin/Gardiner. If the pianist on the Hogwood is Lubin (which I think it is), I am rather sure that I would like those, since his playing with the Mozartean Players is first rate. I just haven't had the impetus to go out and find another version of these, since I am looking for "very satisfactory" rather than "the best ever made". :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: bassio on October 27, 2008, 09:26:32 AM
Quote
I interpreted it as "nothing more need be said"

Perhaps the simplest definition of "IMO definitive" is:
"an individual poster casting his subjective opinion that he likes the aforementioned recording very very much"

Quote
You mean you aren't looking for recommendations which actually explain why they recommend a particular recording, compare it to other available recordings and discuss it in context?

I have no other HIP recording of these pieces.

Obviously, it is up to every individual poster how much he wants to read or write, but it would just be nice if some people at least tried to contribute actual posts, not just interjections, to actual discussions, not just sequences of autistic posts all blablaing about whatever recordings they just happen to have. A little bit more information and discussion would be much more fun, I think.

Actually I agree with you here .. but casting aside the autistic posts thing (which I hope that you were not pointing at mine) .. and since you are obviously in need of more elaboration .. here is a link to a review I wrote last year here http://www.allaboutclassical.com/review/213
But since I am a total noob .. plus the English suckage .. I doubt it will add more insight to your situation, but you asked for it.

As a summing note, If you are, like me, someone who is used to these pieces on modern instruments and new to HIP versions, I find the Hogwood Lubin set a safe selection; I have no further insight to any comparisons sorry.

In the end, I guess it will be safer for you to go with Rod Corkin's suggestion since he seems to be an expert (at least more than I am).

Regards
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on October 27, 2008, 10:01:00 AM
From what I understand Schoonderwoerd is going to have the 1st & 2nd concerti out in the future, which will probably make his the best Beethoven piano concerti set thus far...  I understand that's not saying much.  I also understand certain someones here have had less than flattering things to say of his current Beethoven...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31dhMHfEdYL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Piano-Concertos-Nos-6/dp/B001716JLK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1225130107&sr=1-2)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GQ3C26DJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Concertos-Schoonderwoerd-Ensemble-Cristofori/dp/B0009WFR5W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1225130107&sr=1-1)

I gave the newer album a fairly nasty review due to the lack of Beethoven's own drum & piano cadenza in the '6th' and was pretty hard on his work on the 3rd, though I now realise his is probably the best of it I've heard (again, not saying much).  Also, this is the only recording of Beethoven's piano arrangement of his violin concerto (Op. 61a, 'No. 6') on period instruments, which will no doubt be of interest to the avid period Beethoven collector (I still can't help but think of it as an incomplete recording, however, due to the lack of that cadenza).

That is all - let the Schoonderwoerd bashing commence!  ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Wanderer on October 27, 2008, 11:59:40 AM
I gave the newer album a fairly nasty review due to the lack of Beethoven's own drum & piano cadenza in the '6th' and was pretty hard on his work on the 3rd, though I now realise his is probably the best of it I've heard (again, not saying much).  Also, this is the only recording of Beethoven's piano arrangement of his violin concerto (Op. 61a, 'No. 6') on period instruments, which will no doubt be of interest to the avid period Beethoven collector (I still can't help but think of it as an incomplete recording, however, due to the lack of that cadenza).

Do they give a reason why that cadenza wasn't used? Which cadenza is used instead?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on October 28, 2008, 03:09:31 AM
Do they give a reason why that cadenza wasn't used? Which cadenza is used instead?
The reason given is that it utilized techniques that were not possible on the pianos of Beethoven's time, which is just not true; in fact, the piano Schoonderwoerd uses in the recording could have perfectly handled that cadenza!  He uses a lame, half-minute improvisation instead, it's a real wet blanket.  A major strike against that recording...  :(
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 28, 2008, 05:48:44 AM
The reason given is that it utilized techniques that were not possible on the pianos of Beethoven's time, which is just not true; in fact, the piano Schoonderwoerd uses in the recording could have perfectly handled that cadenza!  He uses a lame, half-minute improvisation instead, it's a real wet blanket.  A major strike against that recording...  :(

I have already discussed the first issued of these wretched recordings in considerable detail. Suffice to restate that Sch's inadequate cadenzas, obvious demonstrations of his complete lack of understanding of the role of the cadenza in Beethoven's concertos, are more than enough to thoroughly invalidate this project.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on October 28, 2008, 05:57:08 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GQ3C26DJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Concertos-Schoonderwoerd-Ensemble-Cristofori/dp/B0009WFR5W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1225130107&sr=1-1)

What's the deal with the hermaphroditic cover picture?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 28, 2008, 06:41:21 AM
Forget the Broadwood and Beethoven. Really they are not very good intruments for his music compared to the Viennese models, which is why the vast majority of Beethoven fortepiano recordings use Viennese designs. I should know because I have most of them. The Broadwoods were pretty crude sounding in comparison - dull, clanky machines lacking in clarity. Anyone who has read all about Beethoven and the pianos of his day will realise that the Viennese models came closer to his ideal, certainly closest to the ideal instrument for playing his compositions (which is really the only thing we should consider). There has been so much propaganda written about the Broadwood it's laughable.

Well, after hearing the two instruments side-by-side I can't square my experience with this description at all: the clarity of the Broadwood and its bright, complex tone was in fact particularly marked next to the Viennese piano, which had a peculiar combination of short sustain and tonal amorphousness (it was nevertheless a fine instrument in its own right). Nor do I think that the pianist - who certainly has 'read all about Beethoven and the pianos of his day', and, what's more, actually plays the music - ought to be discounted. But, hey, who knows...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on October 28, 2008, 04:31:14 PM
What's the deal with the hermaphroditic cover picture?
Don't know, but ever since I first saw that album cover I subconsciously depict Arthur Schoonderwoerd as that man in the hat, sitting at the fortepiano!  ::)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on October 30, 2008, 06:55:18 AM
What's the deal with the hermaphroditic cover picture?

The cover is typical of portraits from the early 19th century especially in the "Biedermeier" style of a gentleman dressed in the highest fashion.  Don't read so much into it, because there isn't that much.  The problem is that the artist seems to have been more of a "society" painter than a great portraitist such as Goya or Ingres.  Attention to clothing was extremely important to the subjects as it was the clothing that demonstrated the subject's class, taste and wealth (Ingres especially emphasized the richness of the clothing). 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 03, 2008, 08:19:30 AM
The cover is typical of portraits from the early 19th century especially in the "Biedermeier" style of a gentleman dressed in the highest fashion.  Don't read so much into it, because there isn't that much.  The problem is that the artist seems to have been more of a "society" painter than a great portraitist such as Goya or Ingres.  Attention to clothing was extremely important to the subjects as it was the clothing that demonstrated the subject's class, taste and wealth (Ingres especially emphasized the richness of the clothing). 

Just so no one misses the point, a detail is reproduced in the inside of the album that makes the painting look notably phallic.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on November 03, 2008, 08:58:18 AM
Just so no one misses the point, a detail is reproduced in the inside of the album that makes the painting look notably phallic.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar smoke. 

More interesting than the butt of a whip is the cockade on the gentleman's hat which shows that he was a sympathizer with the French Revolution!  I think the point is not that there are phallic symbols in the portrait (recognition of such symbols says more about the viewer than the portrait), but that it is a portrait of a contemporary of Beethoven (Pierre Sériziat, David's brother-in-law).   

Btw, if you are really interested in this portrait, which is by Jacques Louis David, (below is the companion portrait of the gentleman's wife and son) you can easily look it up.  Neither is the greatest of portraits -- both remind me of the insipid works of David's late period when he lived in Brussels churning out portraits of the local aristocracy and haute bourgeoisie.  David needed the stimulus of historic events and personages to reach greatness (Paul Marat Dead in his Bath, Consecration of Napoleon and Coronation of Josephine, for instance).  By the time he painted these portraits, he was out of favor with the regime because of his close association with both Robbespierre and Marat. 

(http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/artsheaven_2026_56246664)  (http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/artsheaven_2026_57889168)

These portraits have various clues put in them to tell us about the subject: the cockade on his hat to show him as a revolutionary; the whip which marks him as someone who owns his own horses and therefore a man of consequence and wealth, the red complexion to show that he is comfortable out of doors...  All of these are conventions of portrait painting from the period.  Phallic symbols?  I think not.  What is most conspicuous in these works is the wealth demonstrated by the clothing, a declaration that a new aristocracy was on the rise.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 16, 2008, 04:27:59 AM
I think the point is not that there are phallic symbols in the portrait (recognition of such symbols says more about the viewer than the portrait), but that it is a portrait of a contemporary of Beethoven (Pierre Sériziat, David's brother-in-law).

"Phallic symbols?  I think not," sniffs Bunny. The record producers chose to blow up a tiny detail from the lower left of the painting, which reproduced as it is out of context couldn't possibly be phallic. This says more about the record producers than the viewer. Equally pointless is the fact that 8 pages in the booklet (4 English, 4 French) are devoted to an analysis of this portrait, which has at best a tenuous connection to the music on the recording.

I certainly would like to know what was so incendiary in this post from "Bunny" that moderator Que had to censor part of it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 16, 2008, 07:24:28 AM
Maybe, just maybe, not al editing is censorship, Sforzando.
I resized the pictures so that they could fit next to each other.

But I do find the "phallic symbols" disussion rather off topic and the attachement to your post unnecessarily provocative.

Q


The attachment to my post is nothing more and nothing less than a representation of the 5 inch square blowup of this section of the painting as reproduced in the aforementioned booklet. Hence your objection would be better directed to the producers of the recording.

And I take your finding my attachment "unnecessarily provocative" as confirmation that the producers' intent was, indeed, phallic. It is not off topic for the simple reason that the producers chose to emphasize this element of the painting when they designed the booklet.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Drasko on November 16, 2008, 07:32:30 AM
While we're at phallic symbols, couldn't this pass as one as well?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2008, 07:43:36 AM
The attachment to my post is nothing more and nothing less than a representation of the 5 inch square blowup of this section of the painting as reproduced in the aforementioned booklet. Hence your objection would be better directed to the producers of the recording.

And I take your finding my attachment "unnecessarily provocative" as confirmation that the producers' intent was, indeed, phallic. It is not off topic for the simple reason that the producers chose to emphasize this element of the painting when they designed the booklet.

Yet that represents nothing more nor less than his hand holding the handle of his riding crop or buggy whip. A rather standard pose in the day. If we look at any object that is shaped cylindrically and of a certain dimension, such as Drasko's hat brim example, then we are being rather obsessive in that regard, are we not? And to what end?  ::)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Haydn - String Quartets Opp.54 & 74 - Endellion String Quartet - String Quartets Op. 54 (Hob. III: 57-59), 'Tost I', String Quartet in C major Op. 54 No. 2: III. Menuetto (Allegretto)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 16, 2008, 08:19:49 AM
Yet that represents nothing more nor less than his hand holding the handle of his riding crop or buggy whip. A rather standard pose in the day. If we look at any object that is shaped cylindrically and of a certain dimension, such as Drasko's hat brim example, then we are being rather obsessive in that regard, are we not? And to what end?  ::)

One opens the gatefold of this album (of which Drasko shows us the cover) and this is the first thing one sees, before one sees the complete portrait, and isolated from its insignificant role in that piece. Why show this particular detail, blown up so large, if not to emphasize the phallic aspect of the handle? Give me one good reason why the producers of this album chose to waste an entire page of the booklet on this element of the portrait. As for your presumption that this is nothing more than a riding crop, why should Que have found this image so "provocative"?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2008, 08:34:47 AM
One opens the gatefold of this album (of which Drasko shows us the cover) and this is the first thing one sees, before one sees the complete portrait, and isolated from its insignificant role in that piece. Why show this particular detail, blown up so large, if not to emphasize the phallic aspect of the handle? Give me one good reason why the producers of this album chose to waste an entire page of the booklet on this element of the portrait. As for your presumption that this is nothing more than a riding crop, why should Que have found this image so "provocative"?

Well, I never saw it as phallic, although I read the notes a couple of times. I guess it's there is you are looking for it. Although I can't imagine to what end they were reaching by doing this. What good is symbolism without a point? Are they saying Beethoven was a prick? Hell, we all know that. :)   So if it is indeed symbolism, and not a product of wishful thinking, it can only reflect on the producers, not the product. I have little regard for producers... ;)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Endellion String Quartet - String Quartets Op. 54 (Hob. III: 57-59), 'Tost I', String Quartet in G major Op. 54 No. 1: III. Menuetto (Allegretto)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 16, 2008, 08:42:11 AM
Well, I never saw it as phallic, although I read the notes a couple of times. I guess it's there if you are looking for it. Although I can't imagine to what end they were reaching by doing this. What good is symbolism without a point? Are they saying Beethoven was a prick? Hell, we all know that. :)   So if it is indeed symbolism, and not a product of wishful thinking, it can only reflect on the producers, not the product. I have little regard for producers... ;)

Neither do I. I am hardly "looking for it," on the contrary it jumped out at me. But you give me one good reason why they chose to isolate this one detail. I can't imagine to what end either, but I can't see why they needed a 4-page essay on this painting and had virtually nothing to say about the music.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on November 16, 2008, 09:28:31 AM
While we're at phallic symbols, couldn't this pass as one as well?

Sometimes - for those of us without hat fetishes - the brim of a hat is just a brim of a hat...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2008, 09:35:49 AM
Sometimes - for those of us without hat fetishes - the brim of a hat is just a brim of a hat...

We cigar smokers resent the expropriation of our personal Freud quote by hat brim fetishists   >:(

:)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Endellion String Quartet - String Quartets Op. 74 (Hob. III: 72-74) 'Apponyi', String Quartet in G minor Op. 74 No. 3, 'The Rider': II. Largo
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bunny on November 16, 2008, 03:16:47 PM
Well, I never saw it as phallic, although I read the notes a couple of times. I guess it's there is you are looking for it. Although I can't imagine to what end they were reaching by doing this. What good is symbolism without a point? Are they saying Beethoven was a prick? Hell, we all know that. :)   So if it is indeed symbolism, and not a product of wishful thinking, it can only reflect on the producers, not the product. I have little regard for producers... ;)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Endellion String Quartet - String Quartets Op. 54 (Hob. III: 57-59), 'Tost I', String Quartet in G major Op. 54 No. 1: III. Menuetto (Allegretto)


Neither do I. I am hardly "looking for it," on the contrary it jumped out at me. But you give me one good reason why they chose to isolate this one detail. I can't imagine to what end either, but I can't see why they needed a 4-page essay on this painting and had virtually nothing to say about the music.

Sometimes it's nice to have a little cultural context, especially for those who are not as well informed about the history or the art of the period.  Although this particular portrait was done well before Beethoven wrote the concertos, the styles of dress had not altered and the 5 concerto was supposedly inspired by Napoleon who rose to power as a direct consequence of the fall of Robbespierre, events and personages directly related to both the portraitist and the subjects. 

Phallic symbols are all over the visual arts; some intended, some not, and some merely in the mind of the beholder.  When one describes the subject of a portrait as being "hermaphroditic" (more accurately one should say androgynous) when that is so clearly not the case, then more is in the eye of the beholder than on the canvas. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 16, 2008, 05:47:59 PM
Phallic symbols are all over the visual arts; some intended, some not, and some merely in the mind of the beholder.

Intentions are never provable, and all interpretation is in the mind of the beholder. In context of the entire portrait, I would never associate the riding crop with anything phallic. However, the producers of this album made the association inevitable when they blew up that section and displayed it out of context.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 16, 2008, 05:48:53 PM
I also like Weil's recordings of syms. 5 and 6.  I couldn't imagine anyone finding them disagreeable, but PerfectWagnerite proves me wrong.

I think I felt the same way, but I'll give it another spin.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: adamdavid80 on November 17, 2008, 10:38:35 AM
You're the one who referred to me as an "asshole," right, because I called out Living Stradivarius on his joining this site for the primary purpose of attacking it? You and I are not friends.

The "dude" in that portrait certainly has "wood," but it isn't turning me on.

Yes it is.  Admit it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on October 03, 2009, 03:33:48 AM
Paul Komen plays Diabellies on an 1824 Graf.

It's great -- it has had me strapped to my seat. The piano tome is so perlucid. And it has a percussive, short tone-length which I think suits the music.

Musically, the man he calls to mind is Brendel,  live on Philips -- the "unreleased radio and concert performances" disc. Same relish of the grotesquerie and wit. Same pace.

That maybe an aberration of course -- I'll have to check sometime.

Either way Komen is musical, no doubt. This is well worth trying to hear --as are his Late sonatas.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on February 08, 2010, 11:44:01 PM
We're open for business. I'll gather around some previous material on period performances and bring it to this thread later.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2010, 05:08:11 AM
Is Immerseel the only recent PIon cycle?  What about individual ones?  Is there a list more than one item long that can be made for this decade?  The fanfare review made it sound like it's been twenty years since a PIon cycle came out.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 09, 2010, 05:41:57 AM
Is Immerseel the only recent PIon cycle?  What about individual ones?  Is there a list more than one item long that can be made for this decade?  The fanfare review made it sound like it's been twenty years since a PIon cycle came out.

Immerseel is the most recent. I don't know that we will stick to complete cycles though. There aren't but a few of them. OTTOMH, they would be:

Norrington 1
Hogwood
Goodman/Huggett
Gardiner
Brüggen
Immerseel

Lots of singles here and there though. Like Savall's "Eroica" for example. And Herreweghe's 9th (maybe did some others that I'm not aware of too). What I am hoping is that afficionados will bring some of these rarities into the discussion so that we can all have a go at them. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Franco on February 09, 2010, 07:04:42 AM
Which Norrington, Stuttgart or London Classical Players - is the PI set?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2010, 07:09:13 AM
Which Norrington, Stuttgart or London Classical Players - is the PI set?

London Classical Players-- the Stuttgart is on modern instruments.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Franco on February 09, 2010, 07:12:05 AM
London Classical Players-- the Stuttgart is on modern instruments.

Thanks.  Only the Stuttgard is available for download, so I guess I'll be ordering yet another CD box set.

:)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 09, 2010, 07:16:03 AM
Thanks.  Only the Stuttgart is available for download, so I guess I'll be ordering yet another CD box set.

:)

You won't regret it, I don't think. It is... quirky, but I think very interesting. And FWIW, since I've heard the "historical recordings" people use this argument, it was the first PI cycle, so a pioneer. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2010, 07:18:05 AM
It is absurdly fast though, kind of weird.  I prefer Hogwood but you might have already heard that anyway.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 09, 2010, 07:28:16 AM
It is absurdly fast though, kind of weird.  I prefer Hogwood but you might have already heard that anyway.

Yes, all of that. But not unmusically so, do you think? I mean, the players can keep up with no apparent problem. :)  I bet at the time of release it opened some eyes! Like if you played it back-to-back with Bernstein Vienna from just a very few years earlier! :D

I prefer Hogwood too.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2010, 07:36:03 AM
But not unmusically so, do you think? I mean, the players can keep up with no apparent problem. :) 

That's a good question but it's been like ten years since I've listened to it! :D  For all I know my tastes have changed since then.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 09, 2010, 07:43:12 AM
That's a good question but it's been like ten years since I've listened to it! :D  For all I know my tastes have changed since then.

For what it's worth (not much I say  ;D ) it's my favorite PI set, the most radical. I recall M forever liked it too. And at least for Europeans, incredibly cheap now: the box costing less than one full-price CD at JPC:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/5018271

Sarge
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leon on December 30, 2010, 01:02:29 PM
I just discovered a nice set of Beethoven Violin Sonatas, (Haenssler Classic) which has one disc on modern instruments and the other disc on period instruments. It demonstrates the difference, and I must say the PI performance has much more character and seems to my ears the more interesting.

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonatas - Historic and Modern Instruments in Comparison (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Sonatas-Historic-Instruments-Comparison/dp/B003GIK6S4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1293742744&sr=8-1-catcorr)

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/sharedfiles/images/cds/A98462.gif)

Available only as a MP3 download on Amazon, but I was listening to it on the Naxos Music Library.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on December 30, 2010, 11:00:35 PM
I just discovered a nice set of Beethoven Violin Sonatas, (Haenssler Classic) which has one disc on modern instruments and the other disc on period instruments. It demonstrates the difference, and I must say the PI performance has much more character and seems to my ears the more interesting.

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonatas - Historic and Modern Instruments in Comparison (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Sonatas-Historic-Instruments-Comparison/dp/B003GIK6S4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1293742744&sr=8-1-catcorr)

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com.libdata.lib.ua.edu/sharedfiles/images/cds/A98462.gif)

Available only as a MP3 download on Amazon, but I was listening to it on the Naxos Music Library.

The quoted post reminded of this set (http://www.sonoluminus.com/p-22-beethoven-past-and-present-complete-sonatas-and-variations-for-piano-and-cello.aspx) of the cello sonatas in modern and period instruments, which in turn reminded me of a similar set of the piano trios which I could have sworn was released by the same label, but for which I'm not able to find a reference in the Web.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 31, 2010, 10:17:29 AM
The quoted post reminded of this set (http://www.sonoluminus.com/p-22-beethoven-past-and-present-complete-sonatas-and-variations-for-piano-and-cello.aspx) of the cello sonatas in modern and period instruments, which in turn reminded me of a similar set of the piano trios which I could have sworn was released by the same label, but for which I'm not able to find a reference in the Web.

There's also a set (Naxos) of Diabelli Variations on modern v fortepiano. The guy playing them is a rather routine player, resulting in more people critiquing HIM and forgetting why they listened to the disks to start with... :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on January 19, 2011, 10:15:08 PM
Linda Nicholson and Hiro Kurosaki have completed their recording of the violin sonatas.

http://www.youtube.com/v/c7dwUbWqvoE

(http://image.allmusic.com/00/acg/cov200/cm800/m860/m86061ac173.jpg)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: david-jw on January 20, 2011, 01:58:46 AM
My first exposure to Op 111 was Melvyn Tan playing on a period instrument.

The rougher sound and dark timbre made the first movement even more dramatic.

This was on a TV programme in the 1980's where he was being interviewed by Roger Norrington.

Alas you only seem to be able to buy a CD of some of Tan's LVB PS, the 111 not amoung them.

I would love to hear it again.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on January 20, 2011, 10:51:16 AM

The rougher sound and dark timbre made the first movement even more dramatic.


Tan usually records on his Nanette Streicher copy for things written after 1800.  However for Beethoven, Conrad Graf (both originals and copies) seem more in demand in period instrument recordings.  Try the great Adagio movement from Op. 110 as played on a Graf replica by Ronald Brautigam below and see what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/v/jxowBWU-UNU

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w300/front/0/1128292.jpg)

   

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: david-jw on January 20, 2011, 11:30:34 AM
thanks for this masolino
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 20, 2011, 03:52:31 PM
Today, I re-listened to the PI discs of the recording discussed below - motivated by some recent discussion in Gurn's 'classical thread' - this is an older combo post placed in the 'old instruments' thread - BOTTOM LINE - if you're interested in LvB chamber works performed in a potential style from his times, this is a nice package @ a good price to contemplate -  :D

Quote
Beethoven, LV - Cello Works w/ Lambert Orkis on a Steinway piano and 3 different fortepianos (that span the eras that these works were written) & David Hardy on a Carlo Testore 1694 cello strung w/ steel & with gut strings; a recommendation of Brian (thanks, buddy!) - on the Dorian label.

Four (4) discs in a fold-out wallet w/ a 24 page booklet; the cello/keyboard works played both on modern instruments and on period ones - I'm playing the discs of the different instruments back-to-back; now on the second set - will deserve a longer post in the 'old instrument' thread, but really a unique approach to the issue of works played on modern vs. period instruments - enjoying!  :D  P.S. - $25 from Dorian!

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BeethovenOrkisHardy/744688227_bNJKd-O.jpg)

Above is a post that I just left in the 'listening thread' that warrants further discussion here for those who may be interested not only in Beethoven's Cello Works but also in the question of period vs. modern instrument performances; this is a unique offering by Dorian of two experienced performers on their respective instruments, i.e. keyboard & cello playing these compositions w/ both a modern and period approach, hence the need for 4 discs (at really a bargain price!).

The cello used in these recordings was made by Carlo Giuseppe Testore in 1694 out of Milan, Italy; the instrument was strung w/ steel strings for the modern interpretations, and w/ gut strings for the period recordings; the gut strings were made by Damian Dlugolecki (Website HERE (http://www.damianstrings.com/index.shtml)).  Not sure if different bows and/or bowing techniques were used?

The pianos varied; a Steinway Model C recently manufactured in Hamburg, Germany was used for the modern recordings, while three (3) different fortepianos were played for the period performances; these 'matched' the time periods of the compositions of the pieces and included a Wolf-Dulcken, Wolf-Streicher, & a Regier 'Grafendorfer'; the liner notes go into considerable detail on the features and differences of these various fortepianos, and the reasons that Orkis chose one over the other in the period performances; he also discussed the advantages and limitations (and the interaction w/ the cello) of the various selection of instruments.  A listing of the works on Dorian HERE (http://www.dorian.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=5996) -  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on January 21, 2011, 01:58:24 AM
The composer's own instruments now in the Bonn Beethoven-Haus collection were used for this recording. 

http://www.youtube.com/v/4x47tkbL2WQ
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 16, 2011, 05:08:35 AM
Some HIP Beethoven!

I'm not sure where this should go (and maybe this is old news), but this seemed to be the best place: http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Channel/CCSSA29110 (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Channel/CCSSA29110)
(http://i.prs.to/t_200/channelccssa29110.jpg)

Excerpt: "Gary Cooper: "The decision to use a historic Viennese instrument for this recording - built in the very year Beethoven completed his Diabelli Variations – is, in one sense, self-explanatory. Newly & magnificently restored by Edwin Beunk, the Walter und Sohn grand piano featured here is both a beautiful & charming instrument. In approaching the timeless, expansive sound world of Beethoven's late, great works, any piano is constantly tested; historic instruments not far off two hundred years old additionally so! This is the first commercial recording, to my knowledge, which attempts to place this particular masterpiece firmly in the sound-world of the early 1820s, when it was conceived and first played."
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on March 18, 2011, 01:27:27 AM
This is the first commercial recording, to my knowledge, which attempts to place this particular masterpiece firmly in the sound-world of the early 1820s, when it was conceived and first played."

That's Cooper's shoptalk; Paul Komen recorded the Diabelli and 6 Bagatelles on an original 1824 Graf fortepiano in 2003 (released on the Ars musici label in 2004).  The recording is currently OOP, however.



http://www.youtube.com/v/XYwd0inkzyQ



Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on March 18, 2011, 12:53:17 PM
Some HIP Beethoven!

I'm not sure where this should go (and maybe this is old news), but this seemed to be the best place: http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Channel/CCSSA29110 (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Channel/CCSSA29110)
(http://i.prs.to/t_200/channelccssa29110.jpg)

Excerpt: "Gary Cooper: "The decision to use a historic Viennese instrument for this recording - built in the very year Beethoven completed his Diabelli Variations – is, in one sense, self-explanatory. Newly & magnificently restored by Edwin Beunk, the Walter und Sohn grand piano featured here is both a beautiful & charming instrument. In approaching the timeless, expansive sound world of Beethoven's late, great works, any piano is constantly tested; historic instruments not far off two hundred years old additionally so! This is the first commercial recording, to my knowledge, which attempts to place this particular masterpiece firmly in the sound-world of the early 1820s, when it was conceived and first played."

I just bought this last week, and I'm very impressed.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 18, 2011, 01:08:46 PM
I just bought this last week, and I'm very impressed.

Ah, good to hear from someone finally who has this. I've been reading the discussions, but didn't want to be the first to jump off the metaphorical cliff.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on March 20, 2011, 01:51:53 PM

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/channelccssa29110.jpg)

Ah, good to hear from someone finally who has this. I've been reading the discussions, but didn't want to be the first to jump off the metaphorical cliff.  :)

8)

Listening to the beautiful, resonate tone of the pianoforte in this recording is so wonderful because of the nuance and skill of Cooper! This recording has brought me back, full tilt, into Beethoven's late period again after a long time, and it sure feels good to be back. The Diabelli Variations is a work I'm still getting to know, and now that I've found a pianoforte recording I'm excited to jump into this work, and finally learn what these variations are about, and explore the incredible journey that is this piece.

I just LOVE the sound of the pianoforte and this recording captures it's sound wonderfully.


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2011, 02:40:21 PM
Hmmm - Guys - I just have the Diabelli Variations on a modern piano and only one version; own Gary Cooper in other performances (and like him) - may have to add this one to my 'wish list'!   :D

P.S. Gurn - I'm assuming that you own and enjoy the Cooper performances?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 20, 2011, 02:53:13 PM
Hmmm - Guys - I just have the Diabelli Variations on a modern piano and only one version; own Gary Cooper in other performances (and like him) - may have to add this one to my 'wish list'!   :D

P.S. Gurn - I'm assuming that you own and enjoy the Cooper performances?  Dave  :)

Dave,
No,
Ah, good to hear from someone finally who has this. I've been reading the discussions, but didn't want to be the first to jump off the metaphorical cliff.  :)

is pretty much my situation right now. I know Cooper's playing from his Mozart with Podger, but that's about it. However, since I have NO pianoforte performance of the Diabelli's, let alone a good one  (:D ), it's a no brainer for me. Next fiscal period.  0:)

8)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Scarpia on March 20, 2011, 03:08:11 PM
Dave,
No,
is pretty much my situation right now. I know Cooper's playing from his Mozart with Podger, but that's about it. However, since I have NO pianoforte performance of the Diabelli's, let alone a good one  (:D ), it's a no brainer for me. Next fiscal period.  0:)

8)

You must also know Cooper from this super-awesome recording!



If not you must turn in your membership card to the American Society of HIP Lunatics!
 :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2011, 03:58:09 PM
Well, I was quite curious about those Cooper performances of the Diabelli Variations - the CD price was a little steep, so decided on a MP3 download from Amazon - transferred to my iPod and now listening on my den stereo system - will report back later!  :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on March 20, 2011, 04:30:39 PM
Well, I was quite curious about those Cooper performances of the Diabelli Variations - the CD price was a little steep, so decided on a MP3 download from Amazon - transferred to my iPod and now listening on my den stereo system - will report back later!  :D

I downloaded it too, from iTunes  ;D Way cheaper!

I look forward to your impressions!

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2011, 05:06:13 PM
I downloaded it too, from iTunes  ;D Way cheaper!

I look forward to your impressions!

Leo - my Amazon download was $9 - can't imagine that iTunes was 'way cheaper'?

Well, just my first listen and late at night; first, the instrument sounds just beautiful (difficult to tell from a 'modern' piano) and w/ little additional noises that often accompany these fortepianos; Cooper plays w/ a nice subdued grace and melodic line that I enjoy, and the recorded sound is excellent (although I usually have to turned up the volume slightly on these MP3 downloads) - I have only one other recording of these works on a modern piano, so not an 'expert' in commenting on a wide selection of these performances; however, if one wants a recording on the fortepiano, this would certainly be a top consideration - Dave  :D

But, I'm trying to find the liner notes online (like a PDF file) - below is an image for the fortepiano from the Channel Classics Records website, so I'm assuming that this is the instrument that Cooper used in these recordings?  Below the image is another quote from the website concerning the selection of the instrument!


(http://www.channelclassics.com/media//fortepiano.jpg)

Quote
The decision to use a historic Viennese instrument for this recording - built in the very year Beethoven completed his Diabelli Variations – is, in one sense, self-explanatory. Newly & magnificently restored by Edwin Beunk, the Walter und Sohn grand piano featured here is both a beautiful & charming instrument. In approaching the timeless, expansive sound world of Beethoven's late, great works, any piano is constantly tested; historic instruments not far off two hundred years old additionally so! This is the first commercial recording, to my knowledge, which attempts to place this particular masterpiece firmly in the sound-world of the early 1820s, when it was conceived and first played. In the process of doing so, previously hidden colours and textures may well be revealed to the listener: for pianos of this period have everything to do with colour, while at the same time having very little to do with sheer power, brilliance of clarity, or a capacity to sustain effortlessly: the sound-world to which we are mostly accustomed in the C21st. Therefore, the challenge to both instrument and performer using historic pianos is appreciably great (including occasional moments of audible pedal & action noise, for which I ask the listener's patience and understanding) but I feel well worth the effort, since only additional rewards can be attained in serving to illuminate areas of this immense, mystical, timeless work of art from differing perspectives.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on March 21, 2011, 09:41:31 AM
Leo - my Amazon download was $9 - can't imagine that iTunes was 'way cheaper'?

Sorry about the vagueness, I meant downloads are cheaper than buying a CD.  8)

Well, just my first listen and late at night; first, the instrument sounds just beautiful (difficult to tell from a 'modern' piano) and w/ little additional noises that often accompany these fortepianos; Cooper plays w/ a nice subdued grace and melodic line that I enjoy, and the recorded sound is excellent (although I usually have to turned up the volume slightly on these MP3 downloads) - I have only one other recording of these works on a modern piano, so not an 'expert' in commenting on a wide selection of these performances; however, if one wants a recording on the fortepiano, this would certainly be a top consideration - Dave  :D

But, I'm trying to find the liner notes online (like a PDF file) - below is an image for the fortepiano from the Channel Classics Records website, so I'm assuming that this is the instrument that Cooper used in these recordings?  Below the image is another quote from the website concerning the selection of the instrument!


(http://www.channelclassics.com/media//fortepiano.jpg)

Thanks for the extra info on the notes for this recording!



Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 03, 2011, 11:47:49 PM
I have one more thing I wanted to ask about: It seems like many people hate the Arthur Schoonderwoerd & Cristofori Beethoven recordings. Am I the only one here who loves these? I have to say I know nothing about music. I just respond to these recordings. Am I correct that these are universally hated?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 10, 2011, 02:57:12 AM
I have one more thing I wanted to ask about: It seems like many people hate the Arthur Schoonderwoerd & Cristofori Beethoven recordings. Am I the only one here who loves these? I have to say I know nothing about music. I just respond to these recordings. Am I correct that these are universally hated?

No, only I hate them and I give my reasons. But since no one takes me seriously, why should you?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on April 10, 2011, 03:15:34 AM
I have one more thing I wanted to ask about: It seems like many people hate the Arthur Schoonderwoerd & Cristofori Beethoven recordings. Am I the only one here who loves these? I have to say I know nothing about music. I just respond to these recordings. Am I correct that these are universally hated?

I like them  - quite so, I know (new) erato likes them, probably Gurn and some others here as well.

But never mind, slightly varying on Sforzando's comment.. ;), just indulge in what takes your fancy! :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 10, 2011, 03:16:53 AM
I like them  - quite so, I know (new) erato likes them, probably Gurn and some others here as well.

But never mind, slightly varying on Sforzando's comment.. ;), just indulge in what takes your fancy! :)

Q

See? there you go. But this is one case where the Emperor truly has no clothes.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on May 18, 2011, 08:19:01 AM
There's a new Conrad Graf fortepiano Beethoven Opp 109-111 on the block!

(http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0308-fc272x233.jpg)

Order at musicaomnia.org

Looks like Penelope Crawford is set to join the club currently staffed by Paul Komen, Ronald Brautigam, and Alexei Lubimov, among others.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on May 18, 2011, 08:38:36 AM
I guess Brian voted for Beethoven as a romantic! ;D  What does that fortepiano sound like?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on May 19, 2011, 06:04:38 AM
There's a new Conrad Graf fortepiano Beethoven Opp 109-111 on the block!

(http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0308-fc272x233.jpg)

Order at musicaomnia.org

Looks like Penelope Crawford is set to join the club currently staffed by Paul Komen, Ronald Brautigam, and Alexei Lubimov, among others.

I snagged this and the Lubimov at the same time. The Lubimov recording really grabs me.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 19, 2011, 06:18:09 AM
There's a new Conrad Graf fortepiano Beethoven Opp 109-111 on the block!

(http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0308-fc272x233.jpg)

Order at musicaomnia.org

Looks like Penelope Crawford is set to join the club currently staffed by Paul Komen, Ronald Brautigam, and Alexei Lubimov, among others.

Have you personally heard any of that yet, Brian? It'll be easy on you, since a Graf tends to sound more like a modern piano than most others do. Good place to start, IMO...   0:)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on May 19, 2011, 06:19:31 AM
since a Graf tends to sound more like a modern piano than most others do. Good place to start, IMO...   0:)

8)

Thanks!  That's what I wanted to know. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on May 19, 2011, 06:23:23 AM
Have you personally heard any of that yet, Brian? It'll be easy on you, since a Graf tends to sound more like a modern piano than most others do. Good place to start, IMO...   0:)

8)

Well, I already have the Komen, Brautigam, and Lubimov performances! :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 19, 2011, 06:43:56 AM
Well, I already have the Komen, Brautigam, and Lubimov performances! :)

That'll work. I don't have Lubimov. Is he also on a Graf?  I have him in some earlier Beethoven and he is playing an Erard that is... interesting. :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on May 19, 2011, 07:04:19 AM
That'll work. I don't have Lubimov. Is he also on a Graf?  I have him in some earlier Beethoven and he is playing an Erard that is... interesting. :D

8)

Lubimov uses an 1828 Graf, but an Aloiss Graf. Never heard of that fellow.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: FideLeo on July 05, 2011, 05:39:47 AM
Signs show that Staier may be releasing his recording of the Diabelli soon.  :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/iOw4-CtMr-E
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on July 09, 2011, 07:01:10 AM
Signs show that Staier may be releasing his recording of the Diabelli soon.  :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/iOw4-CtMr-E

Do the Diabelli Variations come anywhere close to the Goldberg Variations in terms of musical genius in anyone's opinion?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on July 09, 2011, 07:21:21 AM
There's a new Conrad Graf fortepiano Beethoven Opp 109-111 on the block!

(http://www.musicaomnia.org/images/mo0308-fc272x233.jpg)

Order at musicaomnia.org

Looks like Penelope Crawford is set to join the club currently staffed by Paul Komen, Ronald Brautigam, and Alexei Lubimov, among others.

First listen through to the CD and I heard nothing I disliked. Will have to hear it again a few more times, of course, but this sounded perfectly enjoyable and very well-played. :) Not as occasionally idiosyncratic as Lubimov or as fast as Brautigam.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on August 23, 2011, 12:24:45 PM
I think we should promote Beethoven performed on the harpsichord and see what they have to say about that. ;D

Q

Not a bad idea. As you probably know, the early piano sonatas of Beethoven were originally advertised as being composed for fortepiano or harpsichord.
 :D :D :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Bulldog on August 24, 2011, 01:13:55 PM
I think we should promote Beethoven performed on the harpsichord and see what they have to say about that. ;D

Q

I remember saying on this board that I'd love to hear Beethoven on harpsichord, and a couple of members thought the idea was ridiculous.
Is there are harpsichordist around who might take up the challenge?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on August 24, 2011, 08:42:52 PM
Not a bad idea. As you probably know, the early piano sonatas of Beethoven were originally advertised as being composed for fortepiano or harpsichord.
 :D :D :D

I remember saying on this board that I'd love to hear Beethoven on harpsichord, and a couple of members thought the idea was ridiculous.
Is there are harpsichordist around who might take up the challenge?

Considering premont's comments, that seems not a ridiculous idea at all.  8)

Though I have a hunch that the mentioning of the harpsichord was not on account of Beethoven but of his publisher for commercial reasons? Many musical households probably still owned a harpsicord and not a fortepiano in those days.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on August 24, 2011, 08:46:51 PM
I remember saying on this board that I'd love to hear Beethoven on harpsichord, and a couple of members thought the idea was ridiculous.
Is there are harpsichordist around who might take up the challenge?

Harpsichord Prelude  WoO 55

http://www.youtube.com/v/WfWpX8DK8G4
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: mjwal on September 02, 2011, 04:17:40 AM
First listen through to the CD and I heard nothing I disliked. Will have to hear it again a few more times, of course, but this sounded perfectly enjoyable and very well-played. :) Not as occasionally idiosyncratic as Lubimov or as fast as Brautigam.
I have just heard this - I liked it all, but the big revelation to me was Op.111, where there were some unearthly sounds coming from the beautifully preserved  Graf in some passages (especially in the arietta) that were a revelation for me - I felt that Beethoven's textures had never before sounded so suggestive and modern, so sheerly delightful.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 02, 2011, 08:16:09 AM
I remember saying on this board that I'd love to hear Beethoven on harpsichord, and a couple of members thought the idea was ridiculous.
Is there are harpsichordist around who might take up the challenge?

Don - just put the disc below (on fortepiano though) on my 'wish list' - superlative reviews in both the Sept/Oct issues of Fanfare & American Record Guide (OMG - agreement!) - Penelope Crawford plays a genuine historical fortepiano, built by Conrad Graf of Vienna in 1835; well, Ludwig had been gone nearly a decade but close enough.   I've been purchasing many of her recent recordings on Watchorn's label and all have been excellent.  Looking forward to the comments on this new release.  Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51klgMNf3YL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on September 18, 2011, 05:36:56 AM
(http://pixhost.me/avaxhome/18/af/0016af18_medium.jpeg)
Beethoven - Les Sonates Pour Le Pianoforte (Paul Badura-Skoda)

Has anyone here heard this set too?

This is an amazing set. I think it came out in 1990. A friend lent it to me, as it's very hard to find, and I am astonished at the beauty of the set. I'm only a little ways through it, but from what I've heard, the various fortepianos are recorded with such detail and clarity!

Here is a list of the instruments used on this set:

Pianoforte Johann Schantz, ca.1790
Pianoforte John Broadwood, Londras, ca.1796
Hammerflugal Anton Walter, Vienna ca.1790
Hammerflugal Caspar Schmidt, Prague, ca.1810
Hammerflugal George Hasska, Vienna ca.1815
Pianoforte John Broadwood, Londras, ca.1815
Hammerflugal Conrad Graf, Vienna ca.1824

 :o Wow, an amazing set indeed!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 06:19:48 AM
(http://pixhost.me/avaxhome/18/af/0016af18_medium.jpeg)
Beethoven - Les Sonates Pour Le Pianoforte (Paul Badura-Skoda)

Has anyone here heard this set too?

This is an amazing set. I think it came out in 1990. A friend lent it to me, as it's very hard to find, and I am astonished at the beauty of the set. I'm only a little ways through it, but from what I've heard, the various fortepianos are recorded with such detail and clarity!

Here is a list of the instruments used on this set:

Pianoforte Johann Schantz, ca.1790
Pianoforte John Broadwood, Londras, ca.1796
Hammerflugal Anton Walter, Vienna ca.1790
Hammerflugal Caspar Schmidt, Prague, ca.1810
Hammerflugal George Hasska, Vienna ca.1815
Pianoforte John Broadwood, Londras, ca.1815
Hammerflugal Conrad Graf, Vienna ca.1824

 :o Wow, an amazing set indeed!

Leo,
Oh sure, and it only took me 10 years to get it all! Worth it though, it is far and away my favorite if one could only have a complete cycle and not one put together from parts. Badura-Skoda is The Man when it comes to Viennese High Classical piano works. The only downside that i can see is that it is on Astrée. I hate them, they are my favorite label.   >:(   :)  (for explanation, see first sentence)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 06:59:09 AM
Leo,
Oh sure, and it only took me 10 years to get it all! Worth it though, it is far and away my favorite if one could only have a complete cycle and not one put together from parts. Badura-Skoda is The Man when it comes to Viennese High Classical piano works. The only downside that i can see is that it is on Astrée. I hate them, they are my favorite label.   >:(   :)  (for explanation, see first sentence)

8)

Off-topic: If I were a journalist and a musical reviewer the highest goal in my professional life would be at this moment to organize some meetings/dialogues among some wonderful old men who in the next years will not be more with us (I mean if we are still here in the next years  ;D): Gustav Leonhardt (1928), Paul Badura-Skoda (1927), Jörg Demus (1928), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929), immediately come to my mind in the field of HIP performance... But this is a totally stupid world and probably this is just a naive idea from a naive music lover.     
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on September 18, 2011, 07:15:33 AM
Off-topic: If I were a journalist and a musical reviewer the highest goal in my professional life would be at this moment to organize some meetings/dialogues among some wonderful old men who in the next years will not be more with us (I mean if we are still here in the next years  ;D): Gustav Leonhardt (1928), Paul Badura-Skoda (1927), Jörg Demus (1928), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929), immediately come to my mind in the field of HIP performance... But this is a totally stupid world and probably this is just a naive idea from a naive music lover.     

Maybe Jens and Harry can pull a few strings for us in the high places. :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 07:33:14 AM
Maybe Jens and Harry can pull a few strings for us in the high places. :D

Yes, it would be great.

Unfortunately our Jens is too "democratic" for these purposes because, after all, he considers all this thing about period instruments v/s modern instruments as a sort of false dichotomy. We would need a totally convinced reviewer, a "believer" (as Johan van Veen or people of that profile), even if he is not a journalist... Probably a younger musician like Peter Watchorn or Brad Lehman.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Oldnslow on September 18, 2011, 07:51:00 AM
Sounds like a job for David Hurwitz...... :P
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on September 18, 2011, 08:54:23 AM
Off-topic: If I were a journalist and a musical reviewer the highest goal in my professional life would be at this moment to organize some meetings/dialogues among some wonderful old men who in the next years will not be more with us (I mean if we are still here in the next years  ;D): Gustav Leonhardt (1928), Paul Badura-Skoda (1927), Jörg Demus (1928), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929), immediately come to my mind in the field of HIP performance... But this is a totally stupid world and probably this is just a naive idea from a naive music lover.   

Off topic to your off topic (is that OT2?)

Are you aware that Badura-Skoda and Demus have just released a CD of Mozart on the Gramola label?  Instruments are given as "Anton Walter Hammerfluegel/Fortepiano"
Contents are
Sonata in D major for 2 pianos K448
Andante with Variations in G major for piano four hands K501
Fantasia in c minor K396 (Demus)
Fantasia in d minor K397 (Demus)
Larghetto and Allegro in E flat major for two pianos [completed by Badura-Skoda] K deest
Fantasia in c minor K475 (Badura-Skoda)

Without knowing who they are, or seeing the album cover and photos in the liner notes(which include photos of them playing together and another one meant to be charming showing them eating peaches or something), you'd have no idea they were anything over 30.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 09:00:31 AM
Off topic to your off topic (is that OT2?)

Are you aware that Badura-Skoda and Demus have just released a CD of Mozart on the Gramola label?  Instruments are given as "Anton Walter Hammerfluegel/Fortepiano"
Contents are
Sonata in D major for 2 pianos K448
Andante with Variations in G major for piano four hands K501
Fantasia in c minor K396 (Demus)
Fantasia in d minor K397 (Demus)
Larghetto and Allegro in E flat major for two pianos [completed by Badura-Skoda] K deest
Fantasia in c minor K475 (Badura-Skoda)

Without knowing who they are, or seeing the album cover and photos in the liner notes(which include photos of them playing together and another one meant to be charming showing them eating peaches or something), you'd have no idea they were anything over 30.

Hot damn, that sounds like a 'must have' for me! Possibly their Schwanengesang? I have no recording of Demus playing a fortepiano, although I understand that he used to do it a lot, an early pioneer, so to speak. Thanks for pointing that up, Jeffery. Now to find it....  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 09:01:55 AM
Yes, it would be great.

Unfortunately our Jens is too "democratic" for these purposes because, after all, he considers all this thing about period instruments v/s modern instruments as a sort of false dichotomy. We would need a totally convinced reviewer, a "believer" (as Johan van Veen or people of that profile), even if he is not a journalist... Probably a younger musician like Peter Watchorn or Brad Lehman.  :)

Too perfect, Toñio, it'll never happen... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on September 18, 2011, 09:10:14 AM
Too perfect, Toñio, it'll never happen... :-\
8)

We don't have "little Tony" any more. ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 09:13:23 AM
We don't have "little Tony" any more. ;D

That's right. Letter "ñ" was too complicated for this international board.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on September 18, 2011, 09:15:37 AM
I have no recording of Demus playing a fortepiano, although I understand that he used to do it a lot, an early pioneer, so to speak. Thanks for pointing that up, Jeffery. Now to find it....  :)

 8)
[To take the thread even further off topic]

A Schubert/Schumann lieder disc featuring him and Ameling has been on my wish-list for a while, mainly for this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/rPpII4xTVrc    http://www.youtube.com/v/IIJKgRs2BMU
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 09:21:38 AM
We don't have "little Tony" any more. ;D

:)  Merely a token of friendship as opposed to an actual use of his handle, Nav.... 0:)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 09:23:23 AM
Too perfect, Toñio, it'll never happen... :-\

8)

I know, I know, but it could be so easy for certain people... Well, not totally easy because, for instance, sometimes my admired Leonhardt can be a difficult oldman (I recall a funny anecdote by Tom Beghin, told in his Virtual Haydn project), but how could he refuse a meeting with some of those old pals, just to talk about the past 50 or 60 years?  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 09:26:36 AM
[To take the thread even further off topic]

A Schubert/Schumann lieder disc featuring him and Ameling has been on my wish-list for a while, mainly for this:

They have been virtually giving this away on Amazon USA for quite some time.



I've had it wishlisted but not pulled the trigger yet. Now you've given me the impetus. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on September 18, 2011, 09:57:19 AM
Now to find it....  :)

8)

I got it as an Amazon pre-release order.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 10:04:14 AM
Off topic to your off topic (is that OT2?)

Are you aware that Badura-Skoda and Demus have just released a CD of Mozart on the Gramola label?  Instruments are given as "Anton Walter Hammerfluegel/Fortepiano"
Contents are
Sonata in D major for 2 pianos K448
Andante with Variations in G major for piano four hands K501
Fantasia in c minor K396 (Demus)
Fantasia in d minor K397 (Demus)
Larghetto and Allegro in E flat major for two pianos [completed by Badura-Skoda] K deest
Fantasia in c minor K475 (Badura-Skoda)

Without knowing who they are, or seeing the album cover and photos in the liner notes(which include photos of them playing together and another one meant to be charming showing them eating peaches or something), you'd have no idea they were anything over 30.

Thanks for the info, Jeffrey. A must-have, indeed.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 10:07:06 AM
They have been virtually giving this away on Amazon USA for quite some time.



I've had it wishlisted but not pulled the trigger yet. Now you've given me the impetus. :)

8)

And maybe you could add this beautiful disc to your order:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51x2Tp04KdL._SS400_.jpg)

$6 "used like new".

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 10:11:04 AM
And maybe you could add this beautiful disc to your order:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51x2Tp04KdL._SS400_.jpg)

$6 "used like new".

Thanks, got it! We have to get all this stuff done before Que comes through tonight and moves all the non-Beethoven stuff.... :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 10:17:46 AM
Thanks, got it! We have to get all this stuff done before Que comes through tonight and moves all the non-Beethoven stuff.... :D

8)

Yes!!! He will have hard work tonight. All this stuff and the pictures posted by Sonic in the "Last movie you watched" thread. Oh, my... I'm a damn tittle-tattle!  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 10:33:47 AM
Yes!!! He will have hard work tonight. All this stuff and the pictures posted by Sonic in the "Last movie you watched" thread. Oh, my... I'm a damn tittle-tattle!  ;D

:D  OK, back on topic, I have several issues of the CBE that have Demus playing, but it is all on a modern piano. Among other things he plays the WoO 47 "Kurfurstensonaten" (first sonatas) in a lovely manner. They don't sound like 1782, however... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Clever Hans on September 18, 2011, 11:04:19 AM
Leo,
Oh sure, and it only took me 10 years to get it all! Worth it though, it is far and away my favorite if one could only have a complete cycle and not one put together from parts. Badura-Skoda is The Man when it comes to Viennese High Classical piano works. The only downside that i can see is that it is on Astrée. I hate them, they are my favorite label.   >:(   :)  (for explanation, see first sentence)

8)

The downside to that important set is that the historic pianos are in my opinion recorded a little too close and sound worse for wear from all those years. The Arcana Schubert sounds better. He also seems to be struggling sometimes to get a decent sound out of those pianos in comparison with his playing on the Eurodisc late 70s/early 80s Mozart Sonatas on a Bosendorfer/Steinway.
In any case, despite his interpretive insights--which are many--he really lacks the finish of Komen, Lubimov, Staier, Brautigam, Schornsheim and Crawford, among others. We should remember that the first public champion of the thornier Beethoven works was Liszt himself!

So for now on fortepiano I definitely prefer Brautigam, who is particularly strong in the big middle period works, and for whom BIS managed to get a nice sound (his Mozart especially and Haydn series were recorded with too much reverberation).

Komen, Lubimov, and Crawford certainly mix it up in the last three sonatas.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 11:17:20 AM
:D  OK, back on topic, I have several issues of the CBE that have Demus playing, but it is all on a modern piano. Among other things he plays the WoO 47 "Kurfurstensonaten" (first sonatas) in a lovely manner. They don't sound like 1782, however... :-\

8)

Yes, I know he recorded some Beethoven, but apparently just using modern instruments. NML shows at least 5 Beethoven discs played by him on modern instruments. Anyway, his Schubert on fortepiano is excellent, although with no information about the specific fortepiano used. I also own his set of the complete Schumann's music for keyboard (Nuova Era, 13-CD set) which was subject of a long discussion regarding the instruments played there.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: PaulSC on September 18, 2011, 11:25:22 AM
Unfortunately our Jens is too "democratic" for these purposes because, after all, he considers all this thing about period instruments v/s modern instruments as a sort of false dichotomy.
Well, that's a sentiment that's evidently shared by Demus and Badura-Skoda, both of whom have shown themselves through performances and recordings to be an order of magnitude more democratic than the most hard-core of GMG's HIPsters
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 18, 2011, 11:32:14 AM
Well, that's a sentiment that's evidently shared by Demus and Badura-Skoda, both of whom have shown themselves through performances and recordings to be an order of magnitude more democratic than the most hard-core of GMG's HIPsters

That would be true if they thought that the choice of the instruments is irrelevant which is hardly the case. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 18, 2011, 11:32:32 AM
The downside to that important set is that the historic pianos are in my opinion recorded a little too close and sound worse for wear from all those years. The Arcana Schubert sounds better. He also seems to be struggling sometimes to get a decent sound out of those pianos in comparison with his playing on the Eurodisc late 70s/early 80s Mozart Sonatas on a Bosendorfer/Steinway.
In any case, despite his interpretive insights--which are many--he really lacks the finish of Komen, Lubimov, Staier, Brautigam, Schornsheim and Crawford, among others. We should remember that the first public champion of the thornier Beethoven works was Liszt himself!

So for now on fortepiano I definitely prefer Brautigam, who is particularly strong in the big middle period works, and for whom BIS managed to get a nice sound (his Mozart especially and Haydn series were recorded with too much reverberation).

Komen, Lubimov, and Crawford certainly mix it up in the last three sonatas.

But you left uncredited this part:
Quote
it is far and away my favorite if one could only have a complete cycle and not one put together from parts.

I don't think there is such a thing as a "best cycle", no matter the instruments used. I've never found one on a Steinway, and there are so many more choices!  In any case, if I wanted to put together a cycle, then Skoda, Brautigam, Lubimov and Komen would do admirably for me. I haven't heard any Beethoven by Schornsheim, although I do like her Haydn a lot. I just ordered Crawford a couple of days ago, so we'll see how that goes. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Clever Hans on September 18, 2011, 12:49:21 PM
it is far and away my favorite if one could only have a complete cycle and not one put together from parts.

I don't think there is such a thing as a "best cycle", no matter the instruments used. I've never found one on a Steinway, and there are so many more choices!  In any case, if I wanted to put together a cycle, then Skoda, Brautigam, Lubimov and Komen would do admirably for me. I haven't heard any Beethoven by Schornsheim, although I do like her Haydn a lot. I just ordered Crawford a couple of days ago, so we'll see how that goes. :)

8)

Yeah, I agree that there is no such thing as a "best cycle," but wanted to express that I don't think it's really the case that Badura-Skoda's set is some holy grail of period instrument recordings.

I haven't heard any Beethoven by Schornsheim, although I do like her Haydn a lot.

I just meant among fortepianists in general. Schornsheim's playing for example is more finished, on her Haydn sonatas and Mozart. Because of earlier efforts such as Badura-Skoda's and then Staier's in the 90s, fortepiano has become more popular with listeners, while better-sounding reproductions have been made, and recording methods have improved.
I think Badura-skoda in his cycle doesn't hold it together quite enough, sometimes because of his ability and sometimes because of unreliable instruments. I don't think in Beethoven he pushes the limit with spirited interpretation in dramatic passages to make up for it always, as the imperfect Schnabel and Edwin Fischer often do (who are perhaps more "finished" anyway, for a number of artistic reasons, in my opinion).

Badura-Skoda has long been known as a cultivated, delicate and sensitive Viennese player with varied articulation, but not really a dramatic virtuoso. While I greatly admire his Mozart, I think much of Beethoven calls for more assured and unconstrained playing (as historically Liszt provided) to meet the very great demands, and more reliable instruments.




Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leon on October 17, 2011, 06:32:22 PM
I have several complete sets of the Beethoven SQ, Takacs, Vegh (both), Italiano, A. Berg and Emerson - but none are PI recordings.

Is there a PI Beethoven complete set out there that I have missed?

 :)

EDIT: After Googling the words "period instruments Beethoven quartets" I did find the Op. 18 quartets by the Quatuor Mosaiques - which hopefully will develop into a complete set.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 18, 2011, 04:24:46 AM
I have several complete sets of the Beethoven SQ, Takacs, Vegh (both), Italiano, A. Berg and Emerson - but none are PI recordings.

Is there a PI Beethoven complete set out there that I have missed?

 :)

EDIT: After Googling the words "period instruments Beethoven quartets" I did find the Op. 18 quartets by the Quatuor Mosaiques - which hopefully will develop into a complete set.

In short, that's a resounding 'no'! >:(  For OP 18, in addition to the QM that you found, there is a nice version by the Smithson Quartet on DHM. I prefer it to the QM, who tend to be too deliberate for my taste in this repertoire.

In Op 59, I have 2 quartets by the Turner's (excellent) and one of them repeated by the Schuppanzigh 4tet (I'm not home so I can't enumerate them).

I have at least an Op 74, 95 & 135 by the Eroica Quartet, and at least one of those is also on that Schuppanzigh disk.

And that, I am sad to say, is about it. There is, not only no complete cycle, but you can't even make  a cycle out of parts. AFAIK (and I have seriously looked into it) there is no PI recording of any of the late works except 135. :'(

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leon on October 18, 2011, 06:26:10 AM
In short, that's a resounding 'no'! >:(  For OP 18, in addition to the QM that you found, there is a nice version by the Smithson Quartet on DHM. I prefer it to the QM, who tend to be too deliberate for my taste in this repertoire.

In Op 59, I have 2 quartets by the Turner's (excellent) and one of them repeated by the Schuppanzigh 4tet (I'm not home so I can't enumerate them).

I have at least an Op 74, 95 & 135 by the Eroica Quartet, and at least one of those is also on that Schuppanzigh disk.

And that, I am sad to say, is about it. There is, not only no complete cycle, but you can't even make  a cycle out of parts. AFAIK (and I have seriously looked into it) there is no PI recording of any of the late works except 135. :'(

8)

Thanks, Gurn, for that information.  Odd how the PI camp has not devoted as much attention to Beethoven as they have to Haydn and Mozart.  Besides the SQ the piano trios are also under served.

However, I will hunt down those discs you reference, since this repertory is so important it is a no-brainer to find it in PI performance if possible.  Also, thanks for the heads-up re: Mosaiques - but our tastes may differ somewhat about their playing since I like their Haydn and you seem rather cool towards them other than Mozart.  At least, that is my impression, but correct me if I am off base with that idea.

 :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 18, 2011, 07:43:43 AM
Thanks, Gurn, for that information.  Odd how the PI camp has not devoted as much attention to Beethoven as they have to Haydn and Mozart.  Besides the SQ the piano trios are also under served.

However, I will hunt down those discs you reference, since this repertory is so important it is a no-brainer to find it in PI performance if possible.  Also, thanks for the heads-up re: Mosaiques - but our tastes may differ somewhat about their playing since I like their Haydn and you seem rather cool towards them other than Mozart.  At least, that is my impression, but correct me if I am off base with that idea.

 :)

Arnold,
Yes, the trios are also vastly underserved. Again, you can't make a complete set out of any number of parts. Of course, if you want Der Geister  ::)

No, you are totally right vis-a-vis the Gurnatron vs. the QM. Love their Mozart (and Schubert too), the rest, not so much. But hey, that's just me, I don't want to affect any else's choices. It isn't like they aren't... perfect!  :o    :D

8)

PS - Strongly recommend the Castle Trio on Virgin for at least Op 1. Can't find their other disk. :-\
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on October 18, 2011, 07:47:47 AM
Coming to a store near you...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512q4C7YH6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Op. 77, K. 464 and 465, Op. 18/1 and 4, D. 879 and 804, and Opp. 12 and 13.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on October 18, 2011, 07:57:53 AM
Also spotted this at Amazon UK...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41U59ox9nlL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005NZ63VW/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21)

[Click on image for GMG Amazon link]

Currently on pre-order for 5.99 Pounds.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 18, 2011, 09:47:43 AM
Also spotted this at Amazon UK...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41U59ox9nlL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005NZ63VW/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21)

[Click on image for GMG Amazon link]

Currently on pre-order for 5.99 Pounds.

Wow, gotta have that! ope it appears in the USA also. Although I buy from England carefree these days. Thanks for the tip.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on October 18, 2011, 12:51:42 PM


In Op 59, I have 2 quartets by the Turner's (excellent) and one of them repeated by the Schuppanzigh 4tet (I'm not home so I can't enumerate them).



Are you thinking of this CD?
http://www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=39542&template=ware_detail_shop_en&_mid=39158&skip=0

Which has 18/4 and 59/3 but nothing else.

My own feeling is that in regard to string ensembles, PI for Beethoven's period is not as important as it is for other types of instruments and/or earlier periods.  This after listening to the Festetics and the Smithson quartets in Mozart and Haydn--I couldn't really find anything I didn't get with modern instruments.  Part of it may be due to the fact that often enough "modern instruments" in many recordings are 18th century string instruments with modern strings and bow, which would automatically bring them closer to the original period--in contrast with, for instance a modern clarinet vs. a period clarinet.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 18, 2011, 01:46:52 PM
Are you thinking of this CD?
http://www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=39542&template=ware_detail_shop_en&_mid=39158&skip=0

Which has 18/4 and 59/3 but nothing else.

My own feeling is that in regard to string ensembles, PI for Beethoven's period is not as important as it is for other types of instruments and/or earlier periods.  This after listening to the Festetics and the Smithson quartets in Mozart and Haydn--I couldn't really find anything I didn't get with modern instruments.  Part of it may be due to the fact that often enough "modern instruments" in many recordings are 18th century string instruments with modern strings and bow, which would automatically bring them closer to the original period--in contrast with, for instance a modern clarinet vs. a period clarinet.

Unfortunately yes. My memory played Hob with me again. In combination with the Schuppanzigh disk, I think I have Op 59 #1 & 3. My favorite opus is drastically underserved. :-\

It's true that Beethoven's music is not enhanced as much by PI, that is, some of it isn't, when there is no wind or keyboard for example. Although another facet of period performance is that nearly always, all repeats are observed. This is frequently not the case in modern instrument performances. I personally like repeats, I like the structural balance of them. Just a thought, not a debating point. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on October 18, 2011, 08:43:37 PM
My memory played Hob with me again. 8)

That doesn't surprise me!  :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 19, 2011, 04:24:54 AM
That doesn't surprise me!  :D

:D  I thought that was a conveniently interesting turn of phrase... I knew you would notice it, mi amigo. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on October 23, 2011, 10:41:07 AM
Don - just put the disc below (on fortepiano though) on my 'wish list' - superlative reviews in both the Sept/Oct issues of Fanfare & American Record Guide (OMG - agreement!) - Penelope Crawford plays a genuine historical fortepiano, built by Conrad Graf of Vienna in 1835; well, Ludwig had been gone nearly a decade but close enough.   I've been purchasing many of her recent recordings on Watchorn's label and all have been excellent.  Looking forward to the comments on this new release.  Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51klgMNf3YL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Listening to this one more time before submitting my MusicWeb review. This is almost certain to end up on my Recording of the Year list: really marvelous playing from Crawford coupled to a gorgeous instrument (mjwal is right about the ghostly passages in Op 111, and also a couple moments in 109).

My personal (idiosyncratic?) order of preference for HIP Beethoven Opp. 109-111 is now:
1. Penelope Crawford [Conrad Graf 1835]
2. Paul Komen [Conrad Graf 1830]
3. Ronald Brautigam [?]
4. Alexei Lubimov [Aloiss Graf 1828]

I very much like all four; Crawford and Komen have a similar lyrical streak, PC blessed with slightly better sound, while Brautigam is for the classical purist and Lubimov is slightly eccentric at times but intriguing.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2011, 12:00:56 AM
I must say it's nice to see such an interest in Paul Komen's Beethoven. Time and time again I find his interpretations stunningly good: somehow he manages to be both exciting and contemplative at the same time. And the instruments really do seem to add something special -- I don't think it's just novelty.

In so many big name sonata his interpretations go to the top of the pile for me. In the Pathetique, for example, only Arrau and Grinberg come close in the first movement,  for finding an emotional plan which goes beyond thrill and speed. And surely no one could resist the percussive timbre of his piano in the first movement of the Waldstien. Or the perfect combination of drive and elegance I hear in the Appassionata.

I see him and maybe Andrea Lucchesini as the most interesting youngish Beethoven players around at the moment. At least from those I've heard .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on November 25, 2011, 08:11:19 AM
Is there not a single recording of the Triple Concerto in period instruments apart from this lonely, long-OOP DHM disc (http://www.amazon.com/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Badura-Skoda-Franzjosef/dp/B000001TWP/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1322237413&sr=1-1)? :o
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 25, 2011, 09:28:46 AM
Is there not a single recording of the Triple Concerto in period instruments apart from this lonely, long-OOP DHM disc (http://www.amazon.com/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Badura-Skoda-Franzjosef/dp/B000001TWP/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1322237413&sr=1-1)? :o

That's the only one I have, Navneeth, or have ever seen either. Un-freakin'-believable!  :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leon on November 25, 2011, 11:48:28 AM
Not the Triple Concerto, but I like this series a lot.  It does contain PC "#6"

Arthur Schoonderwoerd / Ensemble Cristofori





 :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 25, 2011, 12:07:36 PM
Not the Triple Concerto, but I like this series a lot.  It does contain PC "#6"

Arthur Schoonderwoerd / Ensemble Cristofori





 :)

Yup, nice series IMO also. It rankles some because it is clearly chamber size. And Schoonderwoerd tends to go off script sometimes, but I feel strongly that if we had heard it back then, going off script, even by Beethoven let alone everyone else who played it, was a routine sort of thing. It wasn't until they were 'canonized' that the manuscript paper suddenly turned to stone. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on November 25, 2011, 06:01:40 PM
Not the Triple Concerto, but I like this series a lot.  It does contain PC "#6"

Arthur Schoonderwoerd / Ensemble Cristofori





 :)

I love this series!!!!!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on November 27, 2011, 01:12:03 PM
This recording has probably already been discussed extensively in this thread, but I wish to throw my hat in the ring:



After a few listens I can say that it is great, great, great!  I'm not normally one for single discs of very popular (I hesitate to say 'over-played') works, preferring box sets, but I jumped on this one due to a combination of low price, good reviews in the purchases thread, and a good feeling.  I love it!  The interpretations are excellent and show no HIP stereotypes (thin sound, extreme tempos, etc.) and I particularly love how sweet-toned the fortepiano is.  If anyone is having trouble adjusting to HIP recordings due to the 'clangy' or vaguely harpsichord-esque sound of fortepianos, I think this is the one to start with.  The price on the marketplace is great, too.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 27, 2011, 01:29:49 PM
This recording has probably already been discussed extensively in this thread, but I wish to throw my hat in the ring:



After a few listens I can say that it is great, great, great!  I'm not normally one for single discs of very popular (I hesitate to say 'over-played') works, preferring box sets, but I jumped on this one due to a combination of low price, good reviews in the purchases thread, and a good feeling.  I love it!  The interpretations are excellent and show no HIP stereotypes (thin sound, extreme tempos, etc.) and I particularly love how sweet-toned the fortepiano is.  If anyone is having trouble adjusting to HIP recordings due to the 'clangy' or vaguely harpsichord-esque sound of fortepianos, I think this is the one to start with.  The price on the marketplace is great, too.

I am a huge fan of Beths & Bylsma, who are L'Archibudelli along with any other instrumentalist they need at the time. Back in the mid-1990's, when I was in a record club to find new recordings (I wasn't on line yet and knew no one; we all know the feeling, I think) I bought all of their Beethoven disks, not because they were PI or HIP, because I was unaware of the existence of such things. But because they were available and they seemed to play the off-the-beaten-path stuff (my first PI disks were their 2 disks of Beethoven's String Trios). So I got a big dose of PI without knowing I was. Ultimately, it goes without saying that the sound of fortepiano, gut strings and playing repeats, all at brisk tempos, is what I imprinted on and to me, that's what sounds 'right'. That's one man's story... :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on December 04, 2011, 04:39:29 PM
Any tips on HIP recordings of the string trios?


If there are none, any tips on modern instrument recordings?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 04, 2011, 05:14:43 PM
Any tips on HIP recordings of the string trios?


If there are none, any tips on modern instrument recordings?



These are not only the only recordings of which I am aware (and I am aware of such things! :D ), but IMO are the only ones you need anyway. Lovely tone, great playing. Surprisingly available!  :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Haydn%20Covers/HaydnKeyboardBeghincover.jpg)  Tom Beghin (Clavichord) - Hob 16_13 Sonata in E for Clavier 1st mvmt - Moderato
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on December 05, 2011, 07:41:46 AM

These are not only the only recordings of which I am aware (and I am aware of such things! :D ), but IMO are the only ones you need anyway. Lovely tone, great playing. Surprisingly available!  :)

Gurn to the rescue!  I should have seen that coming. :D  Thanks for the tip, they've been wish listed and will hopefully end up on the buy list next month.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 06, 2011, 08:17:32 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yAEtiAJDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F0XWA5Z7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BeethovenString-Trios/517262422_5FN7t-S.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51enm6y%2BjZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

These are not only the only recordings of which I am aware (and I am aware of such things! :D ), but IMO are the only ones you need anyway. Lovely tone, great playing. Surprisingly available!  :)


Hi Gurn - boy that is a crowded field if the non-HIP performances are also included! As you know, I love the L'Archibudelli group and have many of their recordings but each of those above is going for $20 on the AMP - ouch! 

My two recordings are the older one w/ Grumiaux et al and the one inserted above w/ the Zurich String Trio - a performance that Jerry Dubins enjoyed (reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=89410)); now, in looking through the Amazon offerings the one on Musica Omnia showed up - now I've purchased a lot of discs from this label but not familiar w/ this group to comment on their instrumentation, i.e. HIP or otherwise - let's see others might 'chime in'?  Dave :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 06, 2011, 02:59:11 PM
Those interested in the trio recordings by Bylsma, Beths and Küssmaul on Sony Vivarte might want to take note of this news (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17920.msg581960.html#msg581960)! :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 07, 2011, 11:44:13 AM
Soon, hopefully sometime today, I am going to hear Immerseel's Beethoven Symphonies...can't wait to hear!

 8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 07, 2011, 01:37:36 PM
Soon, hopefully sometime today, I am going to hear Immerseel's Beethoven Symphonies...can't wait to hear!

Did you start with the 5th? Did you punch the air? Did you strut? Did you bop?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 07, 2011, 01:42:32 PM
Did you start with the 5th? Did you punch the air? Did you strut? Did you bop?

All reasonable questions, and ones demanding an answer. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 07, 2011, 01:54:41 PM
Well, back to the String Trios -  :D

Now, I would love to obtain the L'Archibudelli discs but the price at present is just too much; SO, the recordings below are of interest to me.  Musica Omnia is an excellent label but I do not know the Adaskin String Trio except that they are from Canada, have played together many years, and specialize in this type of music (NOT a bad set of criteria for a good performance, me thinks!) - and also an excellent review reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=52816) - assume 'modern' instruments but not sure (the review does not help)?

Second, the Leopold String Trio - now on a Dyad and available at BRO for $8 only!  In my previous post here, Jerry Dubins said that this was his favorite performance of these works (when reviewing the set that I do own in Fanfare).

Bottom line - has anyone heard these two 'options' - if so, opinions, comments, reservations, etc.?  Thanks - Dave :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51enm6y%2BjZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VYBgXpXJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 07, 2011, 01:57:20 PM
Well, back to the String Trios -  :D

Now, I would love to obtain the L'Archibudelli discs but the price at present is just too much

Those interested in the trio recordings by Bylsma, Beths and Küssmaul (L'Archibudelli) on Sony Vivarte might want to take note of this news (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17920.msg581960.html#msg581960)! :)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 07, 2011, 05:45:25 PM
Now Q - I've already seen these links and reviewed the options - NOTHING is available at the moment and not sure that Sony will come through w/ these small or larger boxes?  So, not of much help at the moment for L'Archibudelli, even in my wish to own these recordings -  :(

My question(s) were related to the recordings posted - both seem to be 'top notch', so I was just curious if some of our members may have heard these offerings from Musica Omina & Hyperion - Dave :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on December 07, 2011, 07:39:05 PM
Now Q - I've already seen these links and reviewed the options - NOTHING is available at the moment and not sure that Sony will come through w/ these small or larger boxes?  So, not of much help at the moment for L'Archibudelli, even in my wish to own these recordings -  :(

My question(s) were related to the recordings posted - both seem to be 'top notch', so I was just curious if some of our members may have heard these offerings from Musica Omina & Hyperion - Dave :)

My French is tres mal, but that link seemed to offering pre-release pricing, which suggests something is rather definite in the pipeline.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on December 07, 2011, 08:25:28 PM
Now Q - I've already seen these links and reviewed the options - NOTHING is available at the moment and not sure that Sony will come through w/ these small or larger boxes?  So, not of much help at the moment for L'Archibudelli, even in my wish to own these recordings -  :(

My question(s) were related to the recordings posted - both seem to be 'top notch', so I was just curious if some of our members may have heard these offerings from Musica Omina & Hyperion - Dave :)

To be fair, the pricing on the L'Archibudelli recordings was not bad the last time I checked if you were willing to order them used.  Good luck in your search, in any case.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 08, 2011, 05:15:27 AM
To be fair, the pricing on the L'Archibudelli recordings was not bad the last time I checked if you were willing to order them used.  Good luck in your search, in any case.

When I originally linked them, one was $8.59 and the other, IIRC was 9.95. Certainly not OTT pricewise! Maybe those are sold out now?

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 08, 2011, 07:27:31 AM
Did you start with the 5th? Did you punch the air? Did you strut? Did you bop?

I started with the 1st, 2nd and 4th :)

And yes! I did punch the air and bop! All accept strut :)

Wow! So far I'm very impressed with this set. What I've heard is sublime. The last new Beethoven cycle I tried was the Vanska, but this set blows that set to bits. The Norrington cycle was my top set but that is changing now ;) Also, for the 9th I usually gravitate towards Furtwangler. But lately Ive been in the mood for a new PI account of not just the 9th but the whole cycle.

Also, I can't wait to hear the 5th!

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: chasmaniac on December 08, 2011, 07:39:56 AM
Soon, hopefully sometime today, I am going to hear Immerseel's Beethoven Symphonies...can't wait to hear!

 8)

I more than like this set. I'm grateful for it because it helped shake me out of a can't-listen-to-that-old-grump funk of long standing.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 08, 2011, 01:29:30 PM
I started with the 1st, 2nd and 4th :)

And yes! I did punch the air and bop! All accept strut :)

Wow! So far I'm very impressed with this set. What I've heard is sublime. The last new Beethoven cycle I tried was the Vanska, but this set blows that set to bits. The Norrington cycle was my top set but that is changing now ;) Also, for the 9th I usually gravitate towards Furtwangler. But lately Ive been in the mood for a new PI account of not just the 9th but the whole cycle.

Also, I can't wait to hear the 5th!

Oh wonderful! That's so good to hear. I agree with Chasmaniac - one of my predominant feelings is sheer gratitude to Immerseel and his band, for opening a brilliant new window onto Beethoven, and for showing Chuck Berry that it's now his turn to roll over.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 08, 2011, 01:41:05 PM
Oh wonderful! That's so good to hear. I agree with Chasmaniac - one of my predominant feelings is sheer gratitude to Immerseel and his band, for opening a brilliant new window onto Beethoven, and for showing Chuck Berry that it's now his turn to roll over.

Oh sweet memories come back to mind, of the times I tried to convince former member M forever that Immerseel's Schubert cycle was absolutely superb.

But no, according to him it was all speudo-HIP BS! :o ;D

Times have changed at GMG. 8)

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 08, 2011, 07:05:48 PM
To be fair, the pricing on the L'Archibudelli recordings was not bad the last time I checked if you were willing to order them used.  Good luck in your search, in any case.

Well ALL - decided to go the 'used' route, and picked up the 2 L'Archibudelli discs for about $20 off the Amazon MP - both were listed @ as being in 'Very Good' condition and the sellers ratings were in the high 90s - looking forward to their arrival!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 10, 2011, 07:50:39 AM
Oh wonderful! That's so good to hear. I agree with Chasmaniac - one of my predominant feelings is sheer gratitude to Immerseel and his band, for opening a brilliant new window onto Beethoven, and for showing Chuck Berry that it's now his turn to roll over.

Wow...Immerseel's account of Beethoven's symphonies are a revelation, and I'm constantly reevaluating Beethoven's symphonies like I haven't since I first heard them years ago. I'm even even challenged from listening to this set, it's very exciting! Above all hearing these works in such detail and subtlety is such a joy!

haven't heard the whole box yet, but right now listening to the 5th and 7th for the second time.

 8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: mszczuj on December 10, 2011, 10:22:03 AM
Wow...Immerseel's account of Beethoven's symphonies are a revelation, and I'm constantly reevaluating Beethoven's symphonies like I haven't since I first heard them years ago.

Do you know The Hanover Band performance?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 10, 2011, 10:46:58 AM
Do you know The Hanover Band performance?

I actually got that too, but haven't jumped in yet. Are they comparable?

 8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 17, 2011, 08:14:51 AM


(http://205.196.120.33/fad2052ed5615ab65c45276d599a49595g.jpg)

I've been exploring the Badura-Skoda Beethoven sonata cycle this week, starting with the first three disks, and highly enjoying the journey  8)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 17, 2011, 11:02:49 AM

(http://205.196.120.33/fad2052ed5615ab65c45276d599a49595g.jpg)

I've been exploring the Badura-Skoda Beethoven sonata cycle this week, starting with the first three disks, and highly enjoying the journey  8)

My favorite cycle. Even though it has been explained to me that it isn't the best one around. ;)  I also highly enjoy it. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: mszczuj on December 19, 2011, 01:40:52 AM
I actually got that too, but haven't jumped in yet. Are they comparable?

I was planning to make some comparison before answering but there was not time for it.

So:

The Hanover Band symphonies are definitely my first choice. They are very close to my opinion about Beethoven symphonies as treatises concerning mind, God, universe, mankind etc. in form of concerto for orchestra. (Treatises using points of view, categories and notions appropriate for the contemporary of Hegel - that's important!)

Anima Eterna is probably my second choice. They sound much better and I really like them but while I'm listening to them - especially to fast movements - I repeat "No! No! No!" all the time. For me they are too abstract, too polite chamber music. I would say that they are just the music and not the thought while Beethoven symphonies should be the thought (as they could be the thought) - but this is the false contradiction as the music is the thought. Of course playing Beethoven music as chamber music is infinitely better than common playing it as postbrahmsian glue - but it lacks some possibilities of three section real Beethoven orchestra.

As further referention to my taste I would say:

My third choice is probably Bruggen. Then Hogwood. I was fond of Norrington 6th last movement. Found nothing interesting in Gardiner so far.

From not PI interpretations my favourites are Mackerras, Kletzki, Haitink and probably Blomsted (I have only some LP).

What I really hate is Toscanini and above all Furtwangler.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 19, 2011, 01:52:43 AM
Anima Eterna is probably my second choice. They sound much better and I really like them but while I'm listening to them - especially to fast movements - I repeat "No! No! No!" all the time. For me they are too abstract, too polite chamber music.

What a fascinating thing to say. My magnetic attraction towards the Immerseel symphonies was primarily because they were the first non-polite interpretations of Beethoven I'd ever heard. Now, your comment makes me wonder what those Hanover Band performances must be like! Sounds like something I should investigate.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leon on December 19, 2011, 06:55:34 AM
Quote
The Hanover Band symphonies are definitely my first choice.

For me these recordings are marred by the overly-reverberant sound, which takes nothing away from Goodman's interpretative excellence, but which blurs many of the details and keeps me from listening to these recordings more often.

I do not understand why they chose a church as the best place to record an orchestra.

 :) 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 19, 2011, 07:47:27 AM
For me these recordings are marred by the overly-reverberant sound, which takes nothing away from Goodman's interpretative excellence, but which blurs many of the details and keeps me from listening to these recordings more often.

I do not understand why they chose a church as the best place to record an orchestra.

 :)

Sadly, I can only agree with you, Arnold. I think the playing is first-rate, and I like the interpretations a lot, but the sound, well, essentially stinks. When even I can hear it, you know it's not good. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 19, 2011, 01:06:48 PM
For me these recordings are marred by the overly-reverberant sound, which takes nothing away from Goodman's interpretative excellence, but which blurs many of the details and keeps me from listening to these recordings more often.

I do not understand why they chose a church as the best place to record an orchestra.

 :)

I've just been listening to some samples, and I must say that even in 30-second snatches, the sound quality wore me out. It sounds as if they were recorded playing inside a large tin can.

Quite how much that contributes to my negative response overall is hard to determine, especially since all I've heard are short snatches, but these performances would not, I am convinced, have set me on fire in the way that Immerseel's did (and continue to do). I know it's unfair to say this, based on so little evidence, but they seem a bit tame, really. At any rate, I'm not inspired either to punch the air, or invite the neighbours to come round and rock; or, indeed, to risk a purchase.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 19, 2011, 01:09:32 PM
I've just been listening to some samples, and I must say that even in 30-second snatches, the sound quality wore me out. It sounds as if they were recorded playing inside a large tin can.

Perhaps they were playing inside a large tin can . . . I consider all the acoustic possibilities, you see.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 19, 2011, 01:16:09 PM
I've tried the samples. Certainly not a tin can.

Ensembles which play within aluminum have a perfectly distinctive sound.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 19, 2011, 01:16:34 PM
I've just been listening to some samples, and I must say that even in 30-second snatches, the sound quality wore me out. It sounds as if they were recorded playing inside a large tin can.

Quite how much that contributes to my negative response overall is hard to determine, especially since all I've heard are short snatches, but these performances would not, I am convinced, have set me on fire in the way that Immerseel's did (and continue to do). I know it's unfair to say this, based on so little evidence, but they seem a bit tame, really. At any rate, I'm not inspired either to punch the air, or invite the neighbours to come round and rock; or, indeed, to risk a purchase.

I can't disagree with you, Alan, I am very partial to the Immerseel recordings. Not being an air puncher, per se, I merely grinned... :)

I do like the Goodman performances though, excepting the sound. Nonetheless, Hogwood and Gardiner are still tops on my personal list when all is said and done.    0:)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 19, 2011, 01:54:36 PM
Not being an air puncher, per se, I merely grinned... :)
Grinning is also an approved response in my book.

I love surprises though, and I'm still chuckling and punching (and indeed lunching) my way through Haitink's decidedly non-PI box of Beethoven with the LSO. Now there's a turn-up for the books. Nothing tame about those.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 19, 2011, 01:57:15 PM
Ensembles which play within aluminum have a perfectly distinctive sound.

This is where your immense musical expertise shows, Karl, and proves you to be a critic of real metal mettle.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on December 21, 2011, 03:23:42 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51klgMNf3YL._SS400_.jpg)

I have somewhat mixed feelings on this recording:  On the one hand, the playing and instrument are both amazing.  The interpretations are great and it makes a wonderful case for a fortepiano's heterogeneous sound.  For that matter, the second movement of the the 32nd sonata is one of the most profound things I've ever heard.  On the other hand, the sound is muddied by ridiculous amounts of reverb; I'm sure that in time I'll be able to get past the reverb to completely enjoy the recording, but it frustrates me that proper care wasn't taken to get a clean sound out of the room (or select a better room for recording).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 21, 2011, 04:58:25 PM
Well ALL - decided to go the 'used' route, and picked up the 2 L'Archibudelli discs for about $20 off the Amazon MP - both were listed @ as being in 'Very Good' condition and the sellers ratings were in the high 90s - looking forward to their arrival!  Dave :)

Both 'used' discs have arrived in great shape - played w/o a problem; liner notes look new, and no cracks in the jewel boxes - well pleased w/ these purchases and w/ the recordings - have always loved this group and they don't disappoint in these works! :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-hNsXtqq/0/O/BeethovenStTrios2LAB.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-KdmXw3p/0/O/BeethovenStTrios1LAB.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 21, 2011, 11:34:05 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51klgMNf3YL._SS400_.jpg)

I have somewhat mixed feelings on this recording:  On the one hand, the playing and instrument are both amazing.  The interpretations are great and it makes a wonderful case for a fortepiano's heterogeneous sound.  For that matter, the second movement of the the 32nd sonata is one of the most profound things I've ever heard.  On the other hand, the sound is muddied by ridiculous amounts of reverb; I'm sure that in time I'll be able to get past the reverb to completely enjoy the recording, but it frustrates me that proper care wasn't taken to get a clean sound out of the room (or select a better room for recording).

If you'd like another take - I can strongly recommend amazing this recording by Paul Komen: arguably the best of his Beethoven discs. If Crawford equals or tops that, it must be very good indeed. And no reverb on the recording by Globe. :) Instrument: Conrad Graf ca. 1830.



Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 22, 2011, 09:01:49 AM
Grinning is also an approved response in my book.

I love surprises though, and I'm still chuckling and punching (and indeed lunching) my way through Haitink's decidedly non-PI box of Beethoven with the LSO. Now there's a turn-up for the books. Nothing tame about those.

I am glad to hear that the Haitink LSO cycle is so successful. He is one of my favorite artists, largely because of his Mahler  ;D I will have to try his Beethoven LSO cycle!

 8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 22, 2011, 09:02:54 AM
I was planning to make some comparison before answering but there was not time for it.

So:

The Hanover Band symphonies are definitely my first choice. They are very close to my opinion about Beethoven symphonies as treatises concerning mind, God, universe, mankind etc. in form of concerto for orchestra. (Treatises using points of view, categories and notions appropriate for the contemporary of Hegel - that's important!)

Anima Eterna is probably my second choice. They sound much better and I really like them but while I'm listening to them - especially to fast movements - I repeat "No! No! No!" all the time. For me they are too abstract, too polite chamber music. I would say that they are just the music and not the thought while Beethoven symphonies should be the thought (as they could be the thought) - but this is the false contradiction as the music is the thought. Of course playing Beethoven music as chamber music is infinitely better than common playing it as postbrahmsian glue - but it lacks some possibilities of three section real Beethoven orchestra.

As further referention to my taste I would say:

My third choice is probably Bruggen. Then Hogwood. I was fond of Norrington 6th last movement. Found nothing interesting in Gardiner so far.

From not PI interpretations my favourites are Mackerras, Kletzki, Haitink and probably Blomsted (I have only some LP).

What I really hate is Toscanini and above all Furtwangler.

Thank you for your thoughts and comparision! Very interesting indeed! I have to listen to the Hanover Band now!

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Elgarian on December 22, 2011, 09:29:09 AM
I am glad to hear that the Haitink LSO cycle is so successful. He is one of my favorite artists, largely because of his Mahler  ;D I will have to try his Beethoven LSO cycle!

I'm not essentially a Haitink fan (I hated what he did to the Vaughan Williams symphonies), so I was initially resistant to the idea of buying his Beethoven box. So he had a bit of prejudice to overcome, and he overcame it wonderfully well. The weird thing is that having listened with great pleasure to 1, 3, 6, and 8, I found 5 somewhat lacklustre - a bit tame really - and halfway through I was longing for the energy and brilliance of Immerseel. Now heck, maybe I was having a bad day (I've had a few recently), but all I can report is that of air-punching, strutting, and rocking the world, there was none.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2011, 06:26:47 PM
Yup, nice series IMO also. It rankles some because it is clearly chamber size. And Schoonderwoerd tends to go off script sometimes, but I feel strongly that if we had heard it back then, going off script, even by Beethoven let alone everyone else who played it, was a routine sort of thing. It wasn't until they were 'canonized' that the manuscript paper suddenly turned to stone. :)

8)


I have not commented on this forum for a long time, but as one of several people who strongly objected to these recordings, I think it only fair for the complainant to have represented my position accurately. (For the record, I’ve only studied the IV-V pairing closely.) Anyone who wishes to do so can look up my posts on the matter, but neither M Forever, who claims he has directed performances with a cohort of 4-4-3-3-2 strings, nor I was in any way “rankled because it is clearly chamber size.” My objection was that the performances were badly balanced, using a string ensemble of 1-1-2-2-1, which makes absolutely no sense as the violins are badly outmatched in the loudest tuttis. The problem is similar at times in Immerseel’s often good performances of the symphonies, for example in the finale of VII when unimportant repeated notes for the horns completely drown out the main melodic line in the woodwinds.

As for the text, there is little doubt that Beethoven might not have followed his published score exactly at all times. There is in fact a set of variant passages from the fourth concerto that may have been his own improvisations. But “back then” the performer of a work was often its composer, and if performers embellished a score, they would have had significant training in composition. One of my main objections to Schoonderwoerd’s IVth is that he inserts little noodling exercises of his own as cadenzas when Beethoven has left numerous powerful examples as models of what he thought a cadenza should be. I would have had no problem if Sch. had written such a cadenza. Joshua Bell in his Brahms concerto recording uses a cadenza of his own rather than the familiar Joachim, but it’s clear from his example that Josh thoroughly understands the function of a cadenza in a classical concerto. Another of my main objections to Sch is that he simply fakes a lot of the more difficult passages. Well yes, we know the cellos and basses in Beethoven’s time did the same in the C major trio in the Fifth Symphony, but that doesn’t make the practice a model for 20th century performance. In short, if you don’t have the compositional skills to improve on Beethoven, and 99.99% of the time you don’t, then don’t try.

I have sometimes been accused of having a prejudice towards “HIP.” Not at all. Quite the contrary in fact. What I object to is what I would call “half-assed HIP.” Let me give you a non-musical analogy, to some performances of Shakespeare. We know perfectly well that all female roles in Shakespeare were played by pre-pubescent boys. We know too from “Hamlet” and other sources that there were some extremely popular all-boy troupes; I imagine them to have been the Justin Biebers and Nick Jonasses of their age. Shakespeare himself must have had some very young apprentices for brief roles like Mamilius and young Martius, some older boys for romantic leads like Rosalind and Viola, and some very talented adolescents who could handle the difficult challenges of Lady Macbeth, Goneril, Cleopatra, and Volumnia. Occasionally we see the “HIP” practice of having Shakespeare performed by all-male casts. But many of these productions use mature adults for the female roles, when to be authentically Shakespearean you would not have a boy actor older than 15! Personally I think it would be fascinating to see Beatrice or Portia portrayed by a young adolescent male. But what on earth is the point of an all-male cast where the female lead is an adult male of 25? Half-assed HIP, in my opinion.

That’s all. I don’t intend to reply to any rejoinders, so sharpen your knives as ye may.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: The new erato on December 24, 2011, 02:50:11 AM
Both 'used' discs have arrived in great shape - played w/o a problem; liner notes look new, and no cracks in the jewel boxes - well pleased w/ these purchases and w/ the recordings - have always loved this group and they don't disappoint in these works! :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-hNsXtqq/0/O/BeethovenStTrios2LAB.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-KdmXw3p/0/O/BeethovenStTrios1LAB.jpg)
There's a set of L'Archibudelli's Beethoven soon to be released.


• Beethoven : Trios, Quatuors avec piano, Quintette, Sextuor, Octuor (L'Archibudelli / Mozzafiato & Charles Neidich) 5 CD

I have the op 9 disc and it is tremendous, but will buy the whole shebang as soon as it is available.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 24, 2011, 07:53:52 AM
There's a set of L'Archibudelli's Beethoven soon to be released.


• Beethoven : Trios, Quatuors avec piano, Quintette, Sextuor, Octuor (L'Archibudelli / Mozzafiato & Charles Neidich) 5 CD

I have the op 9 disc and it is tremendous, but will buy the whole shebang as soon as it is available.

Erato,
I have all of those disks and I can tell you that you will be pleased with them as you are with the Op 9. Mozzafiato is not frequently mentioned as a performance group, but IMO that is because they are winds specialists and not so many wind fans out there. But I have probably all of their disks and enjoy them greatly too. Their joint efforts with L'Archibudelli have been wonderful! If you see their Schubert Octet, treat yourself and snap it up too!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on May 17, 2012, 04:35:21 AM
(http://alexrossmusic.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451cb2869e201630572d507970d-300wi)
I just downloaded this.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Oldnslow on May 17, 2012, 06:01:56 PM
The Staier Diabellis are, to say the least, controversial (would you expect anything less from him?). I hate to spoil it for folks who haven't heard this recording, but I will say it is pretty hilarious in spots......anyone who can get a snare drum sound out of a Graf fortepiano is pretty unique!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on May 18, 2012, 02:40:44 AM
The Staier Diabellis are, to say the least, controversial (would you expect anything less from him?). I hate to spoil it for folks who haven't heard this recording, but I will say it is pretty hilarious in spots......anyone who can get a snare drum sound out of a Graf fortepiano is pretty unique!
This is kind of tough music for me, in a way. I feel like I have to be in just the right mood to delve into it. I have the Cooper recording also and I'd like to compare the two. Have you heard Cooper? I wonder how you feel they compare. So far I do feel at times that Staier expresses more irony. And he's certainly not subtle about it!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on May 18, 2012, 03:05:33 AM
This is kind of tough music for me, in a way. I feel like I have to be in just the right mood to delve into it. I have the Cooper recording also and I'd like to compare the two. Have you heard Cooper? I wonder how you feel they compare. So far I do feel at times that Staier expresses more irony. And he's certainly not subtle about it!
It's hard for me to do this with my lack of experience in music and in comparing things. It seems like Cooper takes things more slowly and displays clarity. However, Staier is very funny and brash. In the end, I enjoy the sensitivity of Cooper in this case. I'm a fan of Staier and I have many of his recordings but sometimes I feel like he's a quirky performer.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on May 19, 2012, 07:06:06 AM
Whether you like it or not, the opening chord of Var. 23 is definitely something to be heard in Staier's Op. 120!

Vars. 20 - 23, inclusive are available at Alex Ross' blog (http://www.therestisnoise.com/2012/05/cd-of-the-week-andreas-staiers-diabelli-variations.html).

Oh, and I think he uses the instrument to wonderful comic effect in No. 22. Brings to mind poor Leporello even more.



Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 19, 2012, 07:38:57 AM
It's hard for me to do this with my lack of experience in music and in comparing things. It seems like Cooper takes things more slowly and displays clarity. However, Staier is very funny and brash. In the end, I enjoy the sensitivity of Cooper in this case. I'm a fan of Staier and I have many of his recordings but sometimes I feel like he's a quirky performer.

I think similarly: Staier is the absolute star of his three-ring circus.  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on June 12, 2012, 10:03:39 AM
I never realised they were doing a complete set.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 12, 2012, 10:21:30 AM
I never realised they were doing a complete set.



Ah, thanks for that info, Navneeth. I enjoyed their Mozart, I expect top enjoy their Beethoven equally. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on June 12, 2012, 05:03:08 PM
I never realised they were doing a complete set.



Okay, that's an easy decision.  I have several sets of the sonatas, but all are modern instrument ones.  Onto the "see who gives the best price" list it goes.

Thread duty:  listening at the moment to Op. 3 and 8, as performed by L'Archibudelli.


BTW, my tentative opinion on the Staier Diabelli is that it's a very good performance.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on June 13, 2012, 06:30:56 AM
I never realised they were doing a complete set.


Thanks! I just downloaded it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 09, 2012, 05:06:00 PM
As a francophone quebecer I'm very sensitive to two different facets of my particular linguistic situation. First, I know that I'm speaking my language with an accent that is all but unintelligible to most french speakers from France, Belgium or Switzerland (it's close to french provinces' 17th century speech). Second, I know that my education and the almost manic care we in Quebec treat the french language makes me a formidable guardian of written French.

That being said, I know damn well that the criterium by which the folks in 'the old countries' ( as we say here) will judge my communicating skills will be entirely aural. Whatever I do, they will instantly detect a very heavy 'foreign' accent. That's fine, no problem. The French like whatever is exotic. But if I want to make myself understood I know the accent is not a problem. It's the articulation. Very few people speak their native language with proper articulation. Either the beginning or the end of a word is half swallowed or simply skipped. That becomes especially difficult if the speech pattern is syncopated and fast.

The link I make with the HIP Beethoven discussion is that there is no single, universal way of hearing Beethoven's music (or Haydn's, or Mozart's). Their musical speech pattern may be preserved forever in Bärenreiter scores, but there are plenty of other aspects that we know cannot be replicated. Whoever is of the opinion that Quebec French is closer to 17th century provincial dialects may be right, but they'll never be able to provide an aural proof of that. What is aural is gone the minute it's uttered. Of course we have recordings now, but they didn't exist back then.

Therefore I respectfully submit that there is no single authentic way of approximating how Beethoven's music may have sounded two centuries ago. But one thing I'm quite sure about:  fastidious articulation and proper attention to musical grammar and syntax rules are essential. An instrument is but a tool. An 'authentic' one can be good in the right hands, or bad in the wrong ones.

 Use your judgment, but above everything, trust your musical taste and instinct. If the musical result works for you in that it makes you appreciate the music, that's all that counts!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2012, 03:03:43 AM
Bravissimo, André!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 17, 2012, 07:49:41 AM
Universal's response to HM?

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/australianeloquence4803303.jpg) (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Australian%2BEloquence/4803303)
[Image links to Presto]


Diabelli Variations

Beethoven:
   

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

plus:

Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli

Assmayer • Bocklet • Czapek • Czerny • Dreschler • Freystaedtler • Gänsbacher • Gelinek • Halm • Hoffmann • Horzalka • Huglmann • Hummel • Kalkbrenner • Kerzkowsky • Kreutzer • Lannoy • Leidesdorf • Liszt • Moscheles • W.A. Mozart (son) • Rieger • Roser • Schubert • Stadler • Szalay • Tomaschek (Tomášek) • Winkhler • Wittasek (Vitásek) • Worzischek (Voříšek)

Jörg Demus (fortepiano)

From [the original 'additional' variations], Jörg Demus chooses 32, basing his decisions both on the quality of the pieces themselves, and the playing-time of an LP, on which the recording first appeared. Played on various fortepianos of the time, this marks this unique recording’s first release on CD.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on July 17, 2012, 07:54:10 AM
Universal's response to HM?

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/australianeloquence4803303.jpg) (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Australian%2BEloquence/4803303)
[Image links to Presto]


Diabelli Variations

Beethoven:
   

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

plus:

Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli

Assmayer • Bocklet • Czapek • Czerny • Dreschler • Freystaedtler • Gänsbacher • Gelinek • Halm • Hoffmann • Horzalka • Huglmann • Hummel • Kalkbrenner • Kerzkowsky • Kreutzer • Lannoy • Leidesdorf • Liszt • Moscheles • W.A. Mozart (son) • Rieger • Roser • Schubert • Stadler • Szalay • Tomaschek (Tomášek) • Winkhler • Wittasek (Vitásek) • Worzischek (Voříšek)

Jörg Demus (fortepiano)

From [the original 'additional' variations], Jörg Demus chooses 32, basing his decisions both on the quality of the pieces themselves, and the playing-time of an LP, on which the recording first appeared. Played on various fortepianos of the time, this marks this unique recording’s first release on CD.


A most interesting issue! Especially for HIP-Classical era buffs.... :D

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 17, 2012, 07:58:40 AM
A most interesting issue! Especially for HIP-Classical era buffs.... :D

Q

Were you around (i.e. not vacationing) when Staier's was released?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on July 17, 2012, 08:11:09 AM
Were you around (i.e. not vacationing) when Staier's was released?

Yes, that was just before. Haven't checked it out yet. Comments seem to point in the direction of a eccentric, willful interpretation. With Staier, I wouldn't expect otherwise.  ;D
In the meantime I am a happy camper with Paul Komen's varied and direct/"straight" approach.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 17, 2012, 08:14:31 AM
Yes, that was just before. Haven't checked it out yet. Comments seem to point in the direction of a eccentric, willful interpretation. With Staier, I wouldn't expect otherwise.  ;D
In the meantime I am a happy camper with Paul Komen's varied and direct/"straight" approach.

Q

Okay; just checking. ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2012, 06:59:55 AM
This post may be nonsense. I'm not sure I've really put my finger on what I think I'm hearing.

I've been listening to the second movement of the  Op 74  quartet, The Harp,  played by a couple of period ensembles, The Eroica Quartet and The Turner Quartet.


What interests me most  is to do with texture. The Eroica play the quartet quite conventionally -- basically they see it as a sequence of major events played by different instruments in the ensemble. The emphasis is given to the violin when he has a big rhetorical statement, and then to the cellist when he has a big tune, and then to the viola player etc. It's basically, according to the Eroica Quartet, a conversational drama and different musicians are  leading the conversation at different times. And a drama of major events.

Not so the Turners, who see it as a drama of texture. All the voices are given equal value at all times, or mostly so. Consequence: it's less a series of major events and more a seamless collage of different musical textures.

This principal, equal value to all the voices, will be familiar to anyone who has discussed Art of the Fugue with Premont.  And with Bach there was some good reason to think it's a good idea to play it like that -- I think that there's some evidence which suggests that that's what he wanted (is that right?)

But with Beethoven it's another kettle of fish, and I must say I think it's very illuminating and refreshing to hear it played like that. How authentic it is is a question I just can't answer.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AW0QZHAEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GXEMQPR0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: springrite on August 28, 2012, 07:06:31 AM
Never liked Beethoven in period performances, that is, until I bought the Immerseel Beethoven set. It is totally convincing and, in many ways, better than most modern instrument performances I have heard. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on August 28, 2012, 11:10:46 AM

All the voices are given equal value at all times, or mostly so. Consequence: it's less a series of major events and more a seamless collage of different musical textures.

This principal, equal value to all the voices, will be familiar to anyone who has discussed Art of the Fugue with Premont.  And with Bach there was some good reason to think it's a good idea to play it like that -- I think that there's some evidence which suggests that that's what he wanted (is that right?)

But with Beethoven it's another kettle of fish, and I must say I think it's very illuminating and refreshing to hear it played like that. How authentic it is is a question I just can't answer.


While the equality of the parts is a natural "part" of baroque fugal style, I agree with you, that Beethoven (and Vienna classical and romantic style) is something else, because this music contains many notes not having but mere accompanying function. Of course the playing should be transparent, but who would f.i. stress an Alberti bass equally as the melody part? Maybe it is interesting to listen to in a short time because of the unusual tonal balance, but I can not imagine that it is relevatory in the long run. I must add though, that I have not heard the Turner quartet myself. Maybe your impression just is caused by a higher degree of transparency in the playing.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on August 28, 2012, 02:17:24 PM
Coming soon:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8424562211162.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/3107492
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on August 28, 2012, 04:44:26 PM
Interesting find Gordon.  I wonder if they have cd layers...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on August 28, 2012, 06:19:45 PM
Interesting find Gordon.  I wonder if they have cd layers...

What a nice surprise to see you here, David! Welcome back!  :)

Regarding your question, I hope this set will be a hybrid one. Anyway, it's curious because I have several Glossa discs and all of them are standard CDs.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Scarpia on August 28, 2012, 06:36:14 PM
What a nice surprise to see you here, David! Welcome back!  :)

Regarding your question, I hope this set will be a hybrid one. Anyway, it's curious because I have several Glossa discs and all of them are standard CDs.

I don't think there are any factories still producing non-hybrid SACD discs.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on August 28, 2012, 07:01:54 PM
I don't think there are any factories still producing non-hybrid SACD discs.

Yes, that's surely true. Any other way would be stupid from a commercial viewpoint.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on August 28, 2012, 08:53:19 PM
Coming soon:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8424562211162.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/3107492

Amazing.  :o But I do wonder how it will be, I saw Brüggen on a tv documentary a while ago - so old and fragile, and in quite bad health.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on August 28, 2012, 09:13:46 PM
While the equality of the parts is a natural "part" of baroque fugal style, I agree with you, that Beethoven (and Vienna classical and romantic style) is something else, because this music contains many notes not having but mere accompanying function. Of course the playing should be transparent, but who would f.i. stress an Alberti bass equally as the melody part? Maybe it is interesting to listen to in a short time because of the unusual tonal balance, but I can not imagine that it is relevatory in the long run. I must add though, that I have not heard the Turner quartet myself. Maybe your impression just is caused by a higher degree of transparency in the playing.

One consequence of equal balance is that it brings out textural changes written in to the music very clearly. Another aspect of TQ's performance is that it's stationary: you're not involved in a rapidly evolving sequence of big musical gestures. There's drama a plenty, but it's not a drama of major events. I think the Turner recording is interesting and I think it's more interesting than the Eroica Quartet one. In fact The Turners are becoming one of my favourites at the moment. However, anyone who just wants one version of The Harp quartet is probably well advised to look elsewhere.

Oh, and a third aspect of TQ which I like is that it's not at all tortured, it's very calm and poised.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: JaapT on August 29, 2012, 01:14:04 PM
Coming soon:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8424562211162.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/3107492

If you are in the Netherlands, you can already order this set through the dutch newspaper de Volkskrant:
http://shop.volkskrant.nl/frans-bruggen-beethoven-symfonieen

I have been present during one of the concerts (7 & 8). I liked it, but I am not sure it is better than his earlier set. Later I heard Bruggen also
with a modern orchestra directing Chopin's 1st concerto with Goerner, and a Haydn symphony. I wasn't too impressed by the Chopin, but the Haydn symphony was played full of energy and bite, despite the frailty of Bruggen.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on August 29, 2012, 01:59:01 PM
What a nice surprise to see you here, David! Welcome back!  :)

Regarding your question, I hope this set will be a hybrid one. Anyway, it's curious because I have several Glossa discs and all of them are standard CDs.

Thanks for the welcome back! :)  And for answering my question, I'll look forward to it when I can afford it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 29, 2012, 02:04:06 PM
Thanks for the welcome back! :)  And for answering my question, I'll look forward to it when I can afford it.

Hi David - welcome back!  Just curious, how many times have you been a Newbie here?   ;) ;D   Dave
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on August 29, 2012, 08:43:30 PM
If you are in the Netherlands, you can already order this set through the dutch newspaper de Volkskrant:
http://shop.volkskrant.nl/frans-bruggen-beethoven-symfonieen
I have been present during one of the concerts (7 & 8). I liked it, but I am not sure it is better than his earlier set. [/quote]

Yes I am.  :) I also have his earlier LvB set, very nice.


Quote
Later I heard Bruggen also with a modern orchestra directing Chopin's 1st concerto with Goerner, and a Haydn symphony. I wasn't too impressed by the Chopin, but the Haydn symphony was played full of energy and bite, despite the frailty of Bruggen.

Ah. :) Didn't he also record that Chopin concerto? I'll have to check. What I've heard of his Haydn is very nice indeed, though a bit too "stately" for my taste.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on October 29, 2012, 12:20:29 PM
I've been out of the loop for a while.  Have any period instrument quartets attempted Beethoven's late string quartets (on recording) yet?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 29, 2012, 12:52:49 PM
I've been out of the loop for a while.  Have any period instrument quartets attempted Beethoven's late string quartets (on recording) yet?

Only Op 135. IIRC, that would be the Eroica Quartet;



I've had and enjoyed this recording for a few years now. I am completely unaware of any other recording of this work or any other late quartet on PI. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 14, 2013, 07:15:06 AM
I have been as yet unable to find a single recording of Op 70 #2, the 'non-Ghost' half of this trio opus. Can it be that no PI group has ever recorded it?  Here's an idea; they could link up with a nice PI band and front the Trio Concerto, then fill it up with this wonderful trio. Just a thought... :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on January 14, 2013, 07:37:34 AM
I have been as yet unable to find a single recording of Op 70 #2, the 'non-Ghost' half of this trio opus. Can it be that no PI group has ever recorded it?  Here's an idea; they could link up with a nice PI band and front the Trio Concerto, then fill it up with this wonderful trio. Just a thought... :)

8)
Not that this is relevant here, but it seems that Schumann's piano trio # 2 has also been neglected in the HIP world. Well, in the interest of relevance, maybe a group could put the Schumann and the Beethoven together. I wonder, are these trios considered inferior?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 14, 2013, 08:22:01 AM
Not that this is relevant here, but it seems that Schumann's piano trio # 2 has also been neglected in the HIP world. Well, in the interest of relevance, maybe a group could put the Schumann and the Beethoven together. I wonder, are these trios considered inferior?

Op 70 #2 never got a name, so clearly it is totally worthless. This despite the fact that it is by far my favorite. It only shows up in full cycles really. I can't imagine why it is neglected. If someone only had the foresight to name it, like, The Cat Trio or something.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on January 14, 2013, 10:00:17 AM
I have been as yet unable to find a single recording of Op 70 #2, the 'non-Ghost' half of this trio opus. Can it be that no PI group has ever recorded it?  Here's an idea; they could link up with a nice PI band and front the Trio Concerto, then fill it up with this wonderful trio. Just a thought... :)

8)

Of the vast number of recorded accounts of the piano trios, as far as I know, the only recordings to use historical instruments other than the present one is the fine set of the complete trios recorded by the Castle Trio, three CDs released by Virgin Classics between 1990 and 1992, and a disc with the two op.70 Trios released by the Smithsonian Collection label in 1996.

Source [PDF] (http://bf.press.illinois.edu/view.php?vol=14&iss=1&f=br_2.pdf)

So, to answer your question: yes, it appears that it has been recorded with period instruments.

Good luck finding it, though. ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 14, 2013, 10:02:50 AM
Of the vast number of recorded accounts of the piano trios, as far as I know, the only recordings to use historical instruments other than the present one is the fine set of the complete trios recorded by the Castle Trio, three CDs released by Virgin Classics between 1990 and 1992, and a disc with the two op.70 Trios released by the Smithsonian Collection label in 1996.

Source [PDF] (http://bf.press.illinois.edu/view.php?vol=14&iss=1&f=br_2.pdf)

So, to answer your question: yes, it appears that it has been recorded with period instruments.

Good luck finding it, though. ;D

That's just mean, Navneeth.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 14, 2013, 10:18:34 AM
That's just mean, Navneeth.... :)

8)

Actually, it IS available here and there. No one is giving it away, that's for sure, but I can sell the neighbor's cat, maybe.....  :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Old Listener on January 16, 2013, 05:39:16 PM
No one is giving it away, that's for sure, but I can sell the neighbor's cat, maybe..... 

What's a low mileage cat worth these days?

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 16, 2013, 07:37:48 PM
What's a low mileage cat worth these days?

~$30 if you haven't rolled the odometer back :D

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Old Listener on January 17, 2013, 09:57:30 AM
~$30 if you haven't rolled the odometer back

I expect that would require thick gloves and face protection. ;D

Thanks for some amusing thoughts.

P.S. Found this on Amazon.

Aaron Copland -  Old American Songs: I Bought Me a Cat (Set One)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00137V2HE/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk14
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on March 13, 2013, 12:29:58 PM
Unfortunately yes. My memory played Hob with me again. In combination with the Schuppanzigh disk, I think I have Op 59 #1 & 3. My favorite opus is drastically underserved. :-\

It's true that Beethoven's music is not enhanced as much by PI, that is, some of it isn't, when there is no wind or keyboard for example. Although another facet of period performance is that nearly always, all repeats are observed. This is frequently not the case in modern instrument performances. I personally like repeats, I like the structural balance of them. Just a thought, not a debating point. :)

8)

Sorry to resurrect an old discussion...

"Period instruments" was never the right term for string players. Lots of conventional performers play instruments dating back to the 18th century. Yo-Yo Ma's cello (Montagnana 1733) is older than Anner Bylsma's (Pressenda 1835). (Bylsma has also played a 1669 Gofriller and a 1701 Stradivarius, and a ~1700 piccolo cello, but in most of my collection he played the Pressenda.)

Even so, I think you understated the differences for HIP in string music.

There are several issues that affect all instruments. This includes repeats as you mentioned, but also respect for tempo markings, and use of ornamentation. (Many of them tune lower, which is not a big difference for those of us without absolute pitch.)

Some HIP groups (strings and winds) use dynamic swells all over the place, which I find aggravating. This apparently went out of style a while back, but not before many recordings were made.

A big string-specific difference is use of vibrato. Some (but not all) period groups use it more judiciously than conventional performers. I have a preference for minimal vibrato.

Gut strings have a somewhat different timbre which can be a plus or a minus depending on performer and recording. That's probably the most audible difference in equipment.

So for me, there are some significant differences. I'd like to have all of the Beethoven quartets in HIP (not necessarily by the same quartet). Unfortunately there don't seem to be many recent additions. I'm going to attempt to survey the recordings in my next post.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on March 14, 2013, 10:40:15 AM
Okay, here goes for the survey of HIP quartet recordings. Thanks to Gurn Blanston whose posts alerted me to most of these. I just wanted to consolidate the information. Actually, I hope this is incomplete because I want there to be more.

Op. 18#1-6. Smithson Quartet 1988. This is Jaap Schroder, Marilyn McDonald, Judson Griffin, and Kenneth Slowik. Originally released directly by the Smithsonian on 3 discs, it has been re-issued at least twice by DHM on 2 discs which is currently very affordable ($14.32 from Amazon, even less from third parties). I bought used and lucked out by getting the original issue (purple cover). Looking at the timings, the DHM issues squeezed it onto 2 CDs by deleting the repeats in 3.4 and 4.3. I would still consider it a bargain, compared to the alternatives. Performance and sound are very good.

Op. 18#1-6. Quatuor Mosaiques mid-90s on Auvidis Astree-Naive. Apparently both issues were on 3 separate discs. The 1&4 disc is available on its own, or in a 5 CD set that also includes Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn. 5&6 seems to have good availability. 2&3 is only available from third parties and is pricier ($27+). I have not heard this other than samples.

Op. 18#1-6. Turner Quartet 1995 on Harmonia Mundi, 2 CDs. Based on timings, some repeats must have been omitted, if that matters to you. Out of print and currently expensive ($60+). I have not heard it at all. General opinion seems to be positive.

Op. 18#4, 59#3. Schuppanzigh Quartet 1999 on Ars Musici. No sellers on amazon, but it's available here (http://www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=39542&template=ware_detail_shop_en). I have not heard it at all. Both of these pieces are available on other HIP recordings. This web page (http://www.lvbeethoven.com/Cedes/TheCds_ChamberMusic_Quartets.html) indicates this was performed on violin-viola-cello-bass (EDIT: which is not the case).

Op. 18#4. Windermere Quartet 2010 on Pipistrelle. Coupled with Mozart and Haydn. Readily available as of May 2014. I have not heard it at all.

Op. 18#6, 132. Quatuor Terpsycordes 2013 on Ambronay. I have not heard it yet.

Op. 74, 95, 135. Eroica Quartet 2000 on HM. Thanks again to Gurn Blanston, I have this on order. Reviews have been mixed but AFAIK, this is the only HIP recording of 95 and 135 (edit: no longer the only one for 95), and it's affordable at the moment.

Op. 59#3, 74. Turner Quartet 2001 on HM. I have not heard it at all. Mandryka made an interesting comparison to the Eroica in this thread (posts 664 and 673). It's in the $25 range on the amazon marketplace.

Op. 95. Chiaroscuro Quartet 2012 on Aparte. Coupled with Mozart. I have not heard it.

Op. 132. Edding Quartet 2016? on Phi. Coupled with the Piano+Wind Quintet op. 16.

That's all I know of (additions are welcome). So we have 3 choices in op. 18#1-6, plus a fourth (and now a fifth) of 18#4, two choices of 59#3, two of 74 (on the same label and only a year apart!), and one each of 95 and 135 (and now one each of 130 and 132, and now 2 of 95). But there are none of 59#1, 59#2, 127, or 131, and in order to get 59#3 or 132 you have to duplicate other pieces. Half of the releases are out of print and expensive. There's not much momentum either -- the most recent recording is now 12 years old (happily no longer true!). Meanwhile the already-saturated market for conventional performances continues to add options. Grrr. I'd love to see some new recordings, but barring that, hopefully HM will reissue the Turner discs.

I hope this has been helpful.

EDIT: I received the Schuppanzigh disc and the instrumentation is conventional (2 violins, viola, cello). I have no idea where Ms. Laurent got the idea that a double bass was involved.

EDIT: Added the new Windermere disc, thanks to sanantonio. Hopefully there are more to come (from them and others).
EDIT: Added the new Terpsycordes disc, thanks to amw.
EDIT: Added the new-ish Chiaroscuro disc, thanks to amw.
EDIT: Added the not-yet-released Edding disc.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2013, 10:53:12 AM
Yes, helpful indeed. I haven't ever consolidated the information, and relying on memory can be a bit much sometimes. :)

I recently got a 2 disk set on Challenge Classics of the Kuijken Quartet doing the complete Op 59. Oh, how happy I was! One of my favorite 4tets doing one of my favorite opuses. Imagine my chagrin when, on reading the liner notes, Sigi jumped right in and said that he couldn't see any reason to play Beethoven on gut strings, and therefore they had elected to play this on modern instruments. >:(   Like there aren't already dozens and dozens of versions on modern instruments, most of them pretty damned fine for what they are. Here is one reason, Sigi: gut strings don't sound like steel strings. Like I need to tell him that.  ::)  So that set has been sitting on the shelf for 6-8 months unplayed. I suppose I'll get around to it one day....

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on March 14, 2013, 11:03:52 AM
I find it interesting that the PI quartets have recorded Op. 18 complete, almost 4x but left other opus numbers untouched or only partially recorded, once.  I wonder if that is because of the nature of the music?  The Op. 18 quartets are lighter and more akin to Haydn's music, whereas as Beethoven progressed (?), his quartets became more large-scale and, possibly, modern instruments more up to the task of presenting them in all their glory.

Could be what Kuijken was alluding to.

Just one of my silly ideas ...

 ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2013, 11:21:29 AM
I find it interesting that the PI quartets have recorded Op. 18 complete, almost 4x but left other opus numbers untouched or only partially recorded, once.  I wonder if that is because of the nature of the music?  The Op. 18 quartets are lighter and more akin to Haydn's music, whereas as Beethoven progressed (?), his quartets became more large-scale and, possibly, modern instruments more up to the task of presenting them in all their glory.

Could be what Kuijken was alluding to.

Just one of my silly ideas ...

 ;)

Not just yours; that's what I have thought all along. I got the Smithson set years ago, my search beyond that has been dismally difficult, and so I have had time to ponder it. :)  But in talking with a few other enthusiasts, the consensus has been that with a few exceptions (Op 74, 95 & 135) the rest of the later works are just too challenging for PI groups. Which is silly, of course, since groups like the Schuppanzigh's are fronted by Steck, one of the great fiddlers. It's a head scratcher.... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on March 14, 2013, 11:09:04 PM
But in talking with a few other enthusiasts, the consensus has been that with a few exceptions (Op 74, 95 & 135) the rest of the later works are just too challenging for PI groups.

8)

So what did they do, then, in Beethoven's time -- preimiered them, found the going too difficult and shelved the lot?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 15, 2013, 04:27:03 AM
So what did they do, then, in Beethoven's time -- preimiered them, found the going too difficult and shelved the lot?

Actually, many of them did. That is the context of Beethoven's famous shouted quote to Schuppanzigh "I don't give a damn about your violin..." etc. Many of the late works went unplayed for years after his death, only catching on in the mid/late 19th century. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on March 15, 2013, 06:54:44 AM
Actually, many of them did. That is the context of Beethoven's famous shouted quote to Schuppanzigh "I don't give a damn about your violin..." etc. Many of the late works went unplayed for years after his death, only catching on in the mid/late 19th century. :)

8)

Not surprising, though. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on March 15, 2013, 07:05:04 AM
Not surprising, though. :)

This may be a politically incorrect statement, but I do not enjoy late Beethoven works as much as his earlier works.  This is true especially for the piano sonatas and string quartets.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on March 15, 2013, 07:11:41 AM
This may be a politically incorrect statement, but I do not enjoy late Beethoven works as much as his earlier works.  This is true especially for the piano sonatas and string quartets.

And this may be an incorrectlier* thing to do: I share your liking for both ends of Beethoven's creative spectrum (and everything in between, of course).




*Hi, Cato!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on March 17, 2013, 12:06:09 PM
I find it interesting that the PI quartets have recorded Op. 18 complete, almost 4x but left other opus numbers untouched or only partially recorded, once.  I wonder if that is because of the nature of the music?  The Op. 18 quartets are lighter and more akin to Haydn's music, whereas as Beethoven progressed (?), his quartets became more large-scale and, possibly, modern instruments more up to the task of presenting them in all their glory.

Could be what Kuijken was alluding to.

Just one of my silly ideas ...

 ;)
I'm having a hard time understanding this thread. People are saying that violins, violas and cellos as they existed at the time Beethoven wrote his late compositions weren't as up to the challenge of playing the music as modern violins, violas and cellos are? Is this true? So is Beethoven's late music is harder to play than any music written previously? Harder than, say, Bach's solo violin music? My curiosity is peaked.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on March 17, 2013, 12:17:57 PM
I'm having a hard time understanding this thread. People are saying that violins, violas and cellos as they existed at the time Beethoven wrote his late compositions weren't as up to the challenge of playing the music as modern violins, violas and cellos are? Is this true? So is Beethoven's late music is harder to play than any music written previously? Harder than, say, Bach's solo violin music? My curiosity is peaked.

I'm puzzled too. A lot (most?) of the contemporay violinists play on instruments made by Stradivarius, Guarnieri and Amati, i.e as historical as it gets. The violins that some non-HIP performers play are even older than those of some HIPsters.  ???

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 17, 2013, 01:08:29 PM
Two different questions. Well, pretty much different.

Could the instruments play it?  Sure.

Could the players play it? Well, certainly a few of them could. Schuppanzigh could (did) after a lot more practice. IIRC, he complained that he only had a week to practice with it and it was too hard for that. Bear in mind though; these guys used to play most music with little or no practice at all! So playing it after a quick run-through was right out!

I have sometimes thought that an interesting analog would be the "Queen of the Night" aria from The Magic Flute. Mozart wrote it specifically for his sister-in-law Josepha Hofer to take advantage of her extraordinary tessitura. Many (most) singers at the time couldn't sing it at pitch. Now, however, lots of singers must sing it. And they must sing a lot of other roles that were custom made too if they are going to be considered well-rounded singers.

The point being that there was enough music being presented back then that if you were a fiddler or a cellist or a coloratura soprano and you weren't up to playing/singing something then there was other stuff for you to do. Today, if you are in a string quartet and want to rise to the top, you better damn sure be able to play Beethoven!  Does that mean musicians today are better than they were then? Well, they are certainly trained better, and more well-rounded than they used to be. I doubt very much that the true professionals and the virtuosi are any better now or then though. And they don't have to be a valet or footman on their off time either. Different times. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on March 17, 2013, 09:19:19 PM
Two different questions. Well, pretty much different.

Could the instruments play it?  Sure.

Could the players play it? Well, certainly a few of them could. Schuppanzigh could (did) after a lot more practice. IIRC, he complained that he only had a week to practice with it and it was too hard for that. Bear in mind though; these guys used to play most music with little or no practice at all! So playing it after a quick run-through was right out!

I have sometimes thought that an interesting analog would be the "Queen of the Night" aria from The Magic Flute. Mozart wrote it specifically for his sister-in-law Josepha Hofer to take advantage of her extraordinary tessitura. Many (most) singers at the time couldn't sing it at pitch. Now, however, lots of singers must sing it. And they must sing a lot of other roles that were custom made too if they are going to be considered well-rounded singers.

The point being that there was enough music being presented back then that if you were a fiddler or a cellist or a coloratura soprano and you weren't up to playing/singing something then there was other stuff for you to do. Today, if you are in a string quartet and want to rise to the top, you better damn sure be able to play Beethoven!  Does that mean musicians today are better than they were then? Well, they are certainly trained better, and more well-rounded than they used to be. I doubt very much that the true professionals and the virtuosi are any better now or then though. And they don't have to be a valet or footman on their off time either. Different times. :)

8)
Thanks a lot. Very nice explanation. So, some people believe that HIP performers just aren't as skilled as modern instrument performers? Is that common? Honestly, I don't currently listen to a lot of music that doesn't have a keyboard. So, is Beethoven's late string music much harder to play than, say, the piano trios of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms (all music available from PI groups)? It's interesting that Kuijken would say that. I have a CD of the Kuijkens playing Debussy's violin sonatas, cello sonatas and string quartet in G minor on period instruments. It sounds like difficult music, but what do I know (nearly nothing, actually, about playing these instruments)!
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on March 17, 2013, 11:49:24 PM
Thanks a lot. Very nice explanation.

I concur. A great post in the Gurnian tradition of excellence.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on March 18, 2013, 04:13:37 AM
I concur. A great post in the Gurnian tradition of excellence.  :)
Yeah. It makes sense too. I guess it's like athletes maybe? Dr J. was perhaps just as skilled as LeBron James. But, James received much better and more comprehensive training on every aspect of his game and body. Does that sound like a good analogy? I read a review of a Cafe Zimmermann release (way off topic!) that suggested that Bach never had a group of performers at his disposal as good as Cafe Zimmermann. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 18, 2013, 04:21:06 AM
Yeah. It makes sense too. I guess it's like athletes maybe? Dr J. was perhaps just as skilled as LeBron James. But, James received much better and more comprehensive training on every aspect of his game and body. Does that sound like a good analogy? I read a review of a Cafe Zimmermann release (way off topic!) that suggested that Bach never had a group of performers at his disposal as good as Cafe Zimmermann.

I strongly suspect that this is quite true. It is one thing to say that your band has a great fiddler, or the best oboist of his time, but when it is constituted of people who are all of that quality, that had to be a great rarity in the 18th century. Not to inject Haydn needlessly into this discussion, but that was one of his great advantages; he had one of the (if not the) best bands in Europe at the time. We laugh now at the concept of someone saying 'we need a flute, go get the cook', but I venture that isn't the first time that's been said, usually more seriously than I am. :D

8)

PS - I agree with your basketball analogy 100%.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 18, 2013, 04:51:47 AM
I concur. A great post in the Gurnian tradition of excellence.  :)

 :-[  Merci. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on March 21, 2013, 12:36:42 PM
Could the players play it? Well, certainly a few of them could. Schuppanzigh could (did) after a lot more practice. IIRC, he complained that he only had a week to practice with it and it was too hard for that. Bear in mind though; these guys used to play most music with little or no practice at all! So playing it after a quick run-through was right out!

Could it be that for this very reason a certain coarseness and carelesness and even a few wrong notes and tempi here and there are de rigueur when performing Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven?  :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2013, 12:55:33 PM
Could it be that for this very reason a certain coarseness and carelesness and even a few wrong notes and tempi here and there are de rigueur when performing Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven?  :D

Just being authentic, Ma'am.... :)

Frankly, I don't hear that stuff, but I suppose it is out there in the PI world as much as in the MI world. It's a hell of a lot easier to screw up on a period instrument than a modern one. Ease of playing is one of the aded features of evolution, after all. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on March 21, 2013, 01:00:51 PM
Just being authentic, Ma'am.... :)

Frankly, I don't hear that stuff, but I suppose it is out there in the PI world as much as in the MI world. It's a hell of a lot easier to screw up on a period instrument than a modern one. Ease of playing is one of the aded features of evolution, after all. :)

8)

Oh, that was not a criticism addressed at PI, I'm sure they rehearse just as much as MI and are not at all careless about how they play; like you, I didn't hear that stuff in any PI I've heard. It was just a theoretical thought inspired by your post.    :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on April 19, 2013, 03:10:02 PM
Any thoughts on Immerseel's sixth in his Beethoven cycle?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on April 21, 2013, 07:49:31 PM
Oh well, I'll start:

I asked about the Immerseel sixth because I've found the other symphonies in that set excellent but think that the sixth didn't come off well.  He seems to lose the structure of the work and get caught up in details; it somehow feels meandering in spite of the brisk tempo.  I just wanted to find out if anyone else felt the same way.

On a lighter note, this is wonderful:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vNATtQvcL._SY300_.jpg)

Any other suggestions for the violin concerto?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Parsifal on April 21, 2013, 07:59:32 PM
I'm puzzled too. A lot (most?) of the contemporay violinists play on instruments made by Stradivarius, Guarnieri and Amati, i.e as historical as it gets. The violins that some non-HIP performers play are even older than those of some HIPsters.  ???

The Stradivarius violins in use in non-HIP ensembles have been significantly modified.  The neck, bridge and body have typically been reinforced to sustain the higher tension of metal strings.  The bridge is more curved so the middle strings stand higher off the instrument, facilitating passage work but making the multiple stops written by Bach  in his unaccompanied violin music unplayable.  The modern bow is also a lot different.  HIP musicians play instruments which are unmodified, or which have been restored to their original configuration.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 22, 2013, 03:28:24 AM
Oh well, I'll start:

I asked about the Immerseel sixth because I've found the other symphonies in that set excellent but think that the sixth didn't come off well.  He seems to lose the structure of the work and get caught up in details; it somehow feels meandering in spite of the brisk tempo.  I just wanted to find out if anyone else felt the same way.

On a lighter note, this is wonderful:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vNATtQvcL._SY300_.jpg)

Any other suggestions for the violin concerto?

I like that Beths concerto, but I like this one a lot more. I have a lot of PI versions but this is the mainstay;



It is shocking in a way; when I bought this in its first incarnation it was OOP and a long hunt led me to a copy for ~$25 (I saw it for $50 regularly) which delighted me no end. Now, I see this reprint available brand new for $6.20 and you just have to wonder. In any case, it's a bargain, Zehetmair is excellent in Beethoven, he doesn't let the size of the work overwhelm him.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on April 22, 2013, 05:37:16 AM
Thanks Gurn, I suspect that that will sneak into next month's orders.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Parsifal on April 22, 2013, 05:47:52 AM
It is a crime that almost everything the Franz Bruggen recorded is out-of-print.   He turns 80 next year, maybe there will be some releases to commemorate that, at least.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on April 23, 2013, 09:26:36 PM
I like that Beths concerto, but I like this one a lot more. I have a lot of PI versions but this is the mainstay;

From the samples I've heard (I re-listened to them yesterday), Zehetmair sounds good but not very period. It sounds like the Orchestra of the 18th Century with the Soloist of the 20th. JMO based on the samples and not necessarily a criticism.

The next one on my wishlist is Kopatchinskaja, who seems HIP except for the overdubbed cadenza. But I'm not in much of a hurry because I love the Beths. The ending, especially -- an exuberant triumph.

This thread has put quite a dent in my wallet. The Eroica Quartet disc arrived a while ago. First impression of it was good but not great. The Schuppanzigh Quartet is on its way (slowly).

I also got Komen playing the last 3 sonatas, and volumes 1 & 2 of the Karttunen-Hakkila cello-fortepiano works. I don't have anything to compare these to, but I'm very happy with them. Unfortunately volume 3 of Karttunen-Hakkila is now scarce, so I took a flyer on a Zivian-Tomkins disc that covers the same music (plus the op. 126 Bagatelles). The latter hasn't gotten much discussion online, but what I've read has been positive. That showed up from Berkshire today, along with the Fleezanis-Huve violin sonatas and syms. 5 and 6 by Tafelmusik.

Finally, shortly after deciding to take a break from buying more 9ths, I ordered Herreweghe's first recording of it. Hopefully I'll listen to it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: mszczuj on April 23, 2013, 10:00:56 PM
and volumes 1 & 2 of the Karttunen-Hakkila cello-fortepiano works. I don't have anything to compare these to, but I'm very happy with them

Of all the Beethoven records I have heard so far, Karttunen-Hakkila set is the closest to the way I think his music should be played.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on April 27, 2013, 01:16:12 PM
(cross posted from the main WAYLT thread after a first listen to this newly arrived CD)

Penelope Crawford playing Beethoven Sonatas 30-32

A counterintiutive reaction.  Perhaps I've encountered the (for me) limits of period performance.

On the plus side,  Crawford's playing is superfragilisticexpialadociously good.
On the down side,  she's playing a fortepiano, and I kept wishing she was playing on a modern grand.

Perhaps it's because I'm so used to hearing these works on a modern instrument, that the latter is imprinted on my brain.  But her excellent playing seemed to be undercut by the instrument.  I quite literally kept thinking "oh, this would be wonderful on a concert grand!"  I kept hearing a first rate pianist trying to play on a second rate piano.

to be clear, the CD is well worth getting,  and she won't be entirely absent from my CD player, but I can't summon the fist pumping table pounding enthusiasm of Brian and some others here.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 27, 2013, 03:47:23 PM
(cross posted from the main WAYLT thread after a first listen to this newly arrived CD)

Penelope Crawford playing Beethoven Sonatas 30-32

A counterintiutive reaction.  Perhaps I've encountered the (for me) limits of period performance.

On the plus side,  Crawford's playing is superfragilisticexpialadociously good.
On the down side,  she's playing a fortepiano, and I kept wishing she was playing on a modern grand.

Perhaps it's because I'm so used to hearing these works on a modern instrument, that the latter is imprinted on my brain.  But her excellent playing seemed to be undercut by the instrument.  I quite literally kept thinking "oh, this would be wonderful on a concert grand!"  I kept hearing a first rate pianist trying to play on a second rate piano.

to be clear, the CD is well worth getting,  and she won't be entirely absent from my CD player, but I can't summon the fist pumping table pounding enthusiasm of Brian and some others here.
So you don't like period pianos...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: J.A.W. on April 27, 2013, 04:33:50 PM
Though I generally like HIP performances, I can't get into fortepianos either. To my ears the instrument is limited in its expressiveness and dynamic range and its sound is thin. I probably missed out on a lot of musically interesting CDs because of it, but on the plus side that has saved me a lot of money... :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on April 27, 2013, 04:49:26 PM
If you have trouble with Penelope Crawford's fortepiano, none will satisfy you.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on April 27, 2013, 04:52:45 PM
So you don't like period pianos...
If you have trouble with Penelope Crawford's fortepiano, none will satisfy you.

Actually, I do like them!  Which is why I'm a little disappointed here.  I vastly prefer both Mozart and Haydn keyboard works when played on period instruments, which is why I'm a fan of van Oort and Beghin (respectively) and Brautigam's Haydn as well.

However, in thinking it over after my original post,  I think I know why.  The further past 1800 an instrument gets,  the less I like it.  It begins to sound merely like a second rate modern piano.  In addition, these are the last three sonatas, and perhaps Beethoven was going past the actual instruments of his day when he wrote this.  The actual instrument Crawford uses is an 1835 Graf--that is, a piano built eight years after Beethoven's death, so strictly speaking it's not even contemporary with the composer.

I liked--mildly, but still positively--the one CD of Komen I have (with the Appassionata and two other sonatas).  I think I would react more positively to a recording using a somewhat older instrument in which sonatas from earlier in Beethoven's life featured..  Which is why the other Komen CDs remain on my "need to get around to getting this" list.

ETA: and just to be clear,  I think Crawford's playing is first rate.  My problems are only with the instrument, not the pianist.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on April 27, 2013, 05:50:40 PM
This is a new (to me) set of the cello sonatas done with fortepiano and an appropriate cello:

BEETHOVEN | Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 / Variations, Op. 66 and WoO 45

Rainer Zipperling, violoncello (Barak Norman, London 1701)
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano (after Anton Walter, Vienna 1795 by Chris Maene, 2008)

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/others/ACC24237.gif)

Don't know if there is a vol. 2, I wasn't able to locate it with a quick search.

I haven't heard the Karttunen/Hakkila, but I have heard the Bylsma/Bilson and this one compares nicely.  It is found on NML and MOG, probably Spotify as well. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 27, 2013, 07:03:27 PM
If you have trouble with Penelope Crawford's fortepiano, none will satisfy you.
I also love her pianos and her playing on Musica Omnia's piano trio, quartet and quintet releases (including the Beethoven trios). Also, Musica Omnia does a great job with their recording quality.   
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on April 27, 2013, 07:28:53 PM
This is a new (to me) set of the cello sonatas done with fortepiano and an appropriate cello:

BEETHOVEN | Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 / Variations, Op. 66 and WoO 45

Rainer Zipperling, violoncello (Barak Norman, London 1701)
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano (after Anton Walter, Vienna 1795 by Chris Maene, 2008)

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/others/ACC24237.gif)

Don't know if there is a vol. 2, I wasn't able to locate it with a quick search.

I haven't heard the Karttunen/Hakkila, but I have heard the Bylsma/Bilson and this one compares nicely.  It is found on NML and MOG, probably Spotify as well.

These cello sonatas have very good versions on period instruments. Bylsma/Immerseel and Tanya Tomkins/Eric Zivian should be considered too. Both of them are excellent.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on April 28, 2013, 08:42:16 AM
(cross posted from the main WAYLT thread after a first listen to this newly arrived CD)

Penelope Crawford playing Beethoven Sonatas 30-32

A counterintiutive reaction.  Perhaps I've encountered the (for me) limits of period performance.

On the plus side,  Crawford's playing is superfragilisticexpialadociously good.
On the down side,  she's playing a fortepiano, and I kept wishing she was playing on a modern grand.

Perhaps it's because I'm so used to hearing these works on a modern instrument, that the latter is imprinted on my brain.  But her excellent playing seemed to be undercut by the instrument.  I quite literally kept thinking "oh, this would be wonderful on a concert grand!"  I kept hearing a first rate pianist trying to play on a second rate piano.

to be clear, the CD is well worth getting,  and she won't be entirely absent from my CD player, but I can't summon the fist pumping table pounding enthusiasm of Brian and some others here.

I disagree with you about this. I think the problem is with Penelope Crawford's playing, not with the instrument.

I'll give you an example. She plays the allegro of op111/i in a physical and virtuosic and extrovert style. It's fast and furious and without contrasting emotions - passages which are lively and passages which are darker and more internal. The result is one dimensional and hence  superficial.

I think you can play late Beethoven well on an old piano, Tom Beghin's op 111 is an example, and there are others. But I don't think Crawford is up to it yet.

By the way, I'm not sure that the old piano adds anything really important, just a different sound which you can either take or leave. There are time when I think it does, that Beghin gets a very percussive effect which is really interesting which you just couldn't get on a metal framed piano (in op 111/ii), but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 28, 2013, 01:21:33 PM
I disagree with you about this. I think the problem is with Penelope Crawford's playing, not with the instrument.

I'll give you an example. She plays the allegro of op111/i in a physical and virtuosic and extrovert style. It's fast and furious and without contrasting emotions - passages which are lively and passages which are darker and more internal. The result is one dimensional and hence  superficial.

I think you can play late Beethoven well on an old piano, Tom Beghin's op 111 is an example, and there are others. But I don't think Crawford is up to it yet.

By the way, I'm not sure that the old piano adds anything really important, just a different sound which you can either take or leave. There are time when I think it does, that Beghin gets a very percussive effect which is really interesting which you just couldn't get on a metal framed piano (in op 111/ii), but I'm not sure.
How do you think Lubimov compares? He has a recording of the same program.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on April 28, 2013, 01:54:27 PM
How do you think Lubimov compares? He has a recording of the same program.
I personally am one of the Crawford cheerleaders, but I preferred her to Lubimov because of a slightly warmer-hued piano and Lubimov's occasional eccentricities. Haven't compared them in about a year, but Lubimov is a more idiosyncratic performer, and there was a little less poetry than I had heard in his Schubert.

Anyway, look forward to other comments comparing them.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on April 28, 2013, 05:22:54 PM
Beghin has recorded Beethoven?  My interest is aroused.....
ETA:  Found the set, and remember seeing it mentioned here before.   But the current price is a bit rich for my wallet.  $199 for a used copy    But the Atlantis Trio discs are definitely interesting, and PI performance of Schubert song cycles, one wonders how those will turn out.

BTW, although it was entirely secondary so I didn't mention it,  milk's comment about the label's quality sonics is certainly correct.  And I have enough respect for Crawford's playing that I'll also be checking into the chamber works alluded to.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 29, 2013, 05:18:10 AM
I personally am one of the Crawford cheerleaders, but I preferred her to Lubimov because of a slightly warmer-hued piano and Lubimov's occasional eccentricities. Haven't compared them in about a year, but Lubimov is a more idiosyncratic performer, and there was a little less poetry than I had heard in his Schubert.

Anyway, look forward to other comments comparing them.
It's off-topic, but I really enjoy Lubimov's Debussy recording on period pianos. On topic: I wonder about recordings of Diabelli variations. I have Cooper and Staier on period pianos. I prefer the Cooper but I can't say exactly why. What is it about Lubimov that seems eccentric? I would say the same thing about Staier's Diabelli vs. Cooper's. But I don't have the musical knowledge to say why and I haven't listened to the music over and over again like I have much of Bach. Staier's playing on that recording distracts me from the music. But maybe I need to give it another chance.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on April 29, 2013, 07:25:37 AM
It's off-topic, but I really enjoy Lubimov's Debussy recording on period pianos. On topic: I wonder about recordings of Diabelli variations. I have Cooper and Staier on period pianos. I prefer the Cooper but I can't say exactly why. What is it about Lubimov that seems eccentric? I would say the same thing about Staier's Diabelli vs. Cooper's. But I don't have the musical knowledge to say why and I haven't listened to the music over and over again like I have much of Bach. Staier's playing on that recording distracts me from the music. But maybe I need to give it another chance.

Maybe we could start with a list of recorded fp performances of the DVs. Demus, Komen, Staier, Cooper, Batterby Anyone else, maybe not commercialy recorded? AFAIK nothing from Badura Skoda on any type of instrument, and nothing from Brautigham or Beghin or Bilson or Lubimov that I've ever come across.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 29, 2013, 07:30:01 AM
Maybe we could start with a list of recorded fp performances of the DVs. Demus, Komen, Staier, Cooper, Batterby Anyone else, maybe not commercialy recorded? AFAIK nothing from Badura Skoda on any type of instrument, and nothing from Brautigham or Beghin or Bilson that I've ever come across.

William Kinderman. He wrote a book on the Diabelli's, and recorded them (on a fp) at the same time. I have heard that it is quite excellent, but I don't have a copy to relate firsthand. Similar situation to Rosen's late sonatas, I would think.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on April 29, 2013, 07:38:54 AM
William Kinderman. He wrote a book on the Diabelli's, and recorded them (on a fp) at the same time. I have heard that it is quite excellent, but I don't have a copy to relate firsthand. Similar situation to Rosen's late sonatas, I would think.

8)

Ah. Somehow I had remembered Kinderman's Arietta CD  using a modern piano.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 29, 2013, 07:51:04 AM
Maybe we could start with a list of recorded fp performances of the DVs. Demus, Komen, Staier, Cooper, Batterby Anyone else, maybe not commercialy recorded? AFAIK nothing from Badura Skoda on any type of instrument, and nothing from Brautigham or Beghin or Bilson or Lubimov that I've ever come across.
Wow, Demus recorded it on FP? I mentioned in another thread that I just saw him last week in concert (on a modern piano), in a small room for his Japanese students, here in Japan. It was an experience that I'll treasure. Perhaps I'll seek out this DV. Thanks.   
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on April 29, 2013, 08:05:11 AM
Wow, Demus recorded it on FP? I mentioned in another thread that I just saw him last week in concert (on a modern piano), in a small room for his Japanese students, here in Japan. It was an experience that I'll treasure. Perhaps I'll seek out this DV. Thanks.   

Universal's response to HM?

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/australianeloquence4803303.jpg) (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Australian%2BEloquence/4803303)
[Image links to Presto]


Diabelli Variations

Beethoven:
   

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

plus:

Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli

Assmayer • Bocklet • Czapek • Czerny • Dreschler • Freystaedtler • Gänsbacher • Gelinek • Halm • Hoffmann • Horzalka • Huglmann • Hummel • Kalkbrenner • Kerzkowsky • Kreutzer • Lannoy • Leidesdorf • Liszt • Moscheles • W.A. Mozart (son) • Rieger • Roser • Schubert • Stadler • Szalay • Tomaschek (Tomášek) • Winkhler • Wittasek (Vitásek) • Worzischek (Voříšek)

Jörg Demus (fortepiano)

From [the original 'additional' variations], Jörg Demus chooses 32, basing his decisions both on the quality of the pieces themselves, and the playing-time of an LP, on which the recording first appeared. Played on various fortepianos of the time, this marks this unique recording’s first release on CD.

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 29, 2013, 08:06:33 AM
Ah. Somehow I had remembered Kinderman's Arietta CD  using a modern piano.

well, as I said I don't have the disk, just read about it. In his other Beethoven book, which I have, he champions the fp concept pretty hard. It's possible that I assumed.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on April 29, 2013, 08:15:46 AM
I wonder why Brautigam has not included the DV in his "complete" keyboard works cycle?  Is it not finished?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on April 29, 2013, 08:17:14 AM
Michael Leslie, too.

Samples sound remarkably like a concert grand!

I wonder why Brautigam has not included the DV in his "complete" keyboard works cycle?  Is it not finished?

As long as we don't see a box at the horizon, we can hope for one. ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on April 29, 2013, 08:34:47 AM
I wonder why Brautigam has not included the DV in his "complete" keyboard works cycle?  Is it not finished?
Nope, not finished. The last volume (which came 12 months ago) was a series of unpublished variations composed during the study years, so he's being very thorough. I wouldn't be surprised if the Diabellis are the final capstone to the project.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on April 29, 2013, 08:42:07 AM
Michael Leslie, too.



The one in the picture is a modern piano
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on April 29, 2013, 08:46:00 AM
Nope, not finished. The last volume (which came 12 months ago) was a series of unpublished variations composed during the study years, so he's being very thorough. I wouldn't be surprised if the Diabellis are the final capstone to the project.

That was my thought as well.  All this talk of Brautigam got me wanting to hear him play No. 30 in the wake of recently hearing Crawford and Lubimov.  Hands down, (of those three) his is the one I prefer, but Penelope Crawford is very good too.  However, I could not listen to Lubimov for very long.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on April 29, 2013, 08:57:07 AM
Samples sound remarkably like a concert grand!

Yes indeed, I don't know how I managed to post it here (I certainly knew it wasn't a period instrument recording, as I have heard it...)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on April 29, 2013, 03:10:03 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Lj0TDUepL._SX300_.jpg)

Gurn recommended this and it came in today.  I was sure that it would be extremely difficult to beat the Beths/Weil recording of the violin concerto but it managed it!  Holy cow!  This is officially the reference disc I'm using--along with Immerseel's 5th--for anyone who argues that period instruments have a weak sound.  This is barn storming Beethoven and the program is brilliantly done; the Coriolan Overture makes an excellent prelude to the concerto.  This will definitely be getting much listening in the future.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vNATtQvcL._SY300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 29, 2013, 03:15:56 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Lj0TDUepL._SX300_.jpg)

Gurn recommended this and it came in today.  I was sure that it would be extremely difficult to beat the Beths/Weil recording of the violin concerto but it managed it!  Holy cow!  This is officially the reference disc I'm using--along with Immerseel's 5th--for anyone who argues that period instruments have a weak sound.  This is barn storming Beethoven and the program is brilliantly done; the Coriolan Overture makes an excellent prelude to the concerto.  This will definitely be getting much listening in the future.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61vNATtQvcL._SY300_.jpg)

Thought you might like that; I found it to be ass-kickin'. I will concede the possibility, suggested earlier, that Zehetmair's playing style wasn't HIP enough, but it didn't hurt my feelings any. The overall package worked very nicely. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on April 30, 2013, 05:41:19 AM
Has anyone heard both the Schroeder/Immerseel and Fleezanis/Huve recordings of Beethoven's violin sonatas?  If so, any thoughts?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 30, 2013, 05:44:40 AM
Has anyone heard both the Schroeder/Immerseel and Fleezanis/Huve recordings of Beethoven's violin sonatas?  If so, any thoughts?

Sure. Fleezanis/Huvé sound like modern players playing old instruments, IMO. Schroeder/Immerseel sound like historic players playing old instruments. I enjoy  F/H quite a lot, don't regret having that set, but S/I are clearly more HIP... umm, HIPper... well whatever. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on April 30, 2013, 05:46:17 AM
Sure. Fleezanis/Huvé sound like modern players playing old instruments, IMO. Schroeder/Immerseel sound like historic players playing old instruments. I enjoy  F/H quite a lot, don't regret having that set, but S/I are clearly more HIP... umm, HIPper... well whatever. :)

8)

So the cheaper set is more in line with my interests.  The horror, THE HORROR! ;)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 30, 2013, 06:05:34 AM
So the cheaper set is more in line with my interests.  The horror, THE HORROR! ;)

Well really, how often does that happen!?  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 30, 2013, 06:22:49 AM
Too much of a good thing, is a good thing . . . .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on April 30, 2013, 03:13:28 PM
Has anyone heard both the Schroeder/Immerseel and Fleezanis/Huve recordings of Beethoven's violin sonatas?  If so, any thoughts?
I have the Immerseel/Seiler recording. Gosh, I didn't realize there was an Immerseel/Schroeder as well.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 30, 2013, 03:52:59 PM
I have the Immerseel/Seiler recording. Gosh, I didn't realize there was an Immerseel/Schroeder as well.

It would, of course, be on the greatest label ever (for such things :) );

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/capture1_zpsda65a522.jpg)

I would actually like to get that Immerseel / Seiler recording. I like their Mozart.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on April 30, 2013, 05:22:52 PM
I just discovered this PI recording of the violin sonatas, which is pretty interesting.

Beethoven: Complete Pianoforte and Violin Sonatas
Jorja Fleezanis, Cyril Huve



It is OOP with Amazon but found for under $18 from a seller. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on April 30, 2013, 05:56:54 PM
It would, of course, be on the greatest label ever (for such things :) );

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/capture1_zpsda65a522.jpg)

I would actually like to get that Immerseel / Seiler recording. I like their Mozart.

8)

I have the Immerseel/Seiler set, and have to admit I was underwhelmed by it.   Possibly I had too high expectations for it?  I can't put my finger on the cause of my dissatisfaction, but something was missing in the performances. My favorites bring out some of the darker qualities of these works,  but this set seemed too bright (in terms of emotion, not instrumental timbres).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on April 30, 2013, 06:30:47 PM
While I'm ordering the Immerseel/Schroder set (which is so cheap that it's suspicious!),  I noticed this one, mentioned favorably in the lone Amazon review (who liked the Fluve and disliked this one) of the set I'm ordering.  Anyone know of it?


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51IMChZKyyL._SY300_.jpg)
BTW, the current incarnation of the Immerseel/Schroder is this one


Fingers crossed that I'll like it better than the Immerseel/Seiler.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on May 01, 2013, 05:39:04 AM
I just discovered this PI recording of the violin sonatas, which is pretty interesting.

Beethoven: Complete Pianoforte and Violin Sonatas
Jorja Fleezanis, Cyril Huve



It is OOP with Amazon but found for under $18 from a seller.

Better still: $12 from Berkshire (149993).

Gurn is correct that Fleezanis is not a period specialist, though I think Huvé is. Based on samples I chose them over Schröder, due to the latter's uncharacteristic vibrato, which is not necessarily non-HIP but is not my taste, and also over Seiler, who just sounded a bit plain. YMMV of course, and I know that everybody else can listen to samples too. I was somewhat surprised at my decision since Immerseel and his partners are all bigger names.

At these prices it's certainly possible to get both Schröder/Immerseel and Fleezanis/Huvé. For now I only wanted one set because my yet-to-listen stack is already way too tall (and it also includes the Johnson/Newman disc).
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on May 01, 2013, 05:45:20 AM
There is also Linda Nicholson & Hiro Kurosaki. I'm sure someone commented on that set in this thread but I'll put it out here for any further comments.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on May 01, 2013, 05:45:25 AM
Better still: $12 from Berkshire (149993).

Gurn is correct that Fleezanis is not a period specialist, though I think Huvé is. Based on samples I chose them over Schröder, due to the latter's uncharacteristic vibrato, which is not necessarily non-HIP but is not my taste, and also over Seiler, who just sounded a bit plain. YMMV of course, and I know that everybody else can listen to samples too. I was somewhat surprised at my decision since Immerseel and his partners are all bigger names.

At these prices it's certainly possible to get both Schröder/Immerseel and Fleezanis/Huvé. For now I only wanted one set because my yet-to-listen stack is already way too tall (and it also includes the Johnson/Newman disc).

I must have overlooked the earlier discussion of this recording, thanks for the recap. 

I described it as very interesting precisely because of the use of period instruments with a edgy performance style.  I like it; and am not prone to put much stock in labels.  If the music causes me to sit up and take notice, in a good way, then it is fine by me whether or not it toes the line according HIP research.  I have several recordings of these sonatas and the music is so good I want a variety of approaches represented.  They all bring something worthwhile to the table and I enjoy them all for different reasons.

You are absolutely right, YMMMV.

 :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 01, 2013, 06:24:52 AM
I must have overlooked the earlier discussion of this recording, thanks for the recap. 

I described it as very interesting precisely because of the use of period instruments with a edgy performance style.  I like it; and am not prone to put much stock in labels.  If the music causes me to sit up and take notice, in a good way, then it is fine by me whether or not it toes the line according HIP research.  I have several recordings of these sonatas and the music is so good I want a variety of approaches represented.  They all bring something worthwhile to the table and I enjoy them all for different reasons.

You are absolutely right, YMMMV.

 :)

Just for the record, I like it too (that wasn't part of the original question). Edgy. Yes, that's a good adjective here. I have a couple more sets at home not mentioned here yet, I'll post tonight. One is Ryo Terakado (can't remember the fortepianist) on Denon. That's a fine set that I really enjoy.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on May 01, 2013, 07:05:40 AM
Just for the record, some four or five years ago, I posted about the existence of this usually forgotten (and hard to get) set of violin sonatas played on period instruments:

(http://pixhost.me/avaxhome/6c/82/0009826c_medium.jpeg)

Are you sure, Rod Corkin?

Because I own this set and it's a very nice one:

Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas
Ryo Terakado, violin
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano
Denon
4 Cd's


CD 1:
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°5 in F major, Op. 24 (“Spring”)
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°1 in D major, Op. 12 N°1
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°3 in E-flat major, Op. 12 N°3

Ryo Terakado, violin (Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, Milano, 1772)
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano (Christopher Clarke, Cluny, 1986 after Anton Walter ca. 1795)
Recorded: St. Jacobs Kerk, Hemelveerdegem, Belgium, November 3-6, 1997.


CD 2:
12 Variations on “Se vuol ballare” from “Le nozze di Figaro” by Mozart, WoO40
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°2 in A major, Op. 12 N°2
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°4 in A minor, Op. 23
Rondo in G major WoO41
Six German Dances, WoO42

Ryo Terakado, violin (Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, Milano, 1772)
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano (Rosenberger, Vienna, ca. 1802, from the collection of Edwin Beunk)
Recorded: Lovenjoel Kapel, Leuven, Belgium, January 18-22, 1999.


CD 3:
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°6 in A major, Op. 30 N°1
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°7 in C minor, Op. 30 N°2
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°8 in G, Op. 30 N°3

Ryo Terakado, violin (Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, Milano, 1772)
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano (Rosenberger, Vienna, ca. 1802, from the collection of Edwin Beunk)
Recorded: Oud-Katholieke Kerk, Delft, The Netherlands, August 10-13, 2000.


CD4:
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°9 in A major, Op. 47 “Kreutzer”
Sonata for Violin and Piano N°10 in G major, Op. 96

Ryo Terakado, violin (Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, Milano, 1772)
Boyan Vodenitcharov, fortepiano (Lagrassa, Vienna, ca. 1806, from the collection of Edwin Beunk)
Recorded: Festhalle Viersen, Germany, March 22-25, 2005.

 :)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 01, 2013, 07:22:18 AM
Just for the record, some four or five years ago, I posted about the existence of this usually forgotten (and hard to get) set of violin sonatas played on period instruments:

(http://pixhost.me/avaxhome/6c/82/0009826c_medium.jpeg)

 :)

Yes, that's the one I'm talking about. You can't blame me to forget Boyan's last name... :)  I probably heard about it from you though. I just don't mention it because I can't imagine where you could buy it today!

Good 'un though. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: San Antone on May 01, 2013, 07:31:51 AM
One disc with Nos. 1, 3 and 5 (Spring) is available through MOG, but not the rest.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on May 01, 2013, 07:43:31 AM
Yes, that's the one I'm talking about. You can't blame me to forget Boyan's last name... :)  I probably heard about it from you though. I just don't mention it because I can't imagine where you could buy it today!

Good 'un though. :)

8)

Sorry, I didn't see your post.  :)

I guess this set never was broadly available out of Japan. I bought my own copy at cdjapan.co.jp.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on May 01, 2013, 09:08:26 AM
It would, of course, be on the greatest label ever (for such things :) );

Indeed, for example, the recording that just arrived in the mail today.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lBu%2B7PVrL._SX300_.jpg)

Now they just need to do the moral thing and give us the five middle quartets.  And the five late quartets.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on May 06, 2013, 09:35:43 AM
This thread has put quite a dent in my wallet. The Eroica Quartet disc arrived a while ago. First impression of it was good but not great. The Schuppanzigh Quartet is on its way (slowly).

Just re-listened to the Eroica disc. I enjoyed it more the second time. There is some surprising shakiness by the 1st violin in the 1st movement of the "Harp" -- enough to be a real distraction for me, and I don't particularly listen for technical perfection. But aside from that, a very enjoyable disc.

Schuppanzigh still hasn't shown up. :(
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on May 14, 2013, 11:02:47 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UMrWIEQIL._SX300_.jpg)

I've never been a fan of Beethoven's sonatas for violin before, but this set is really agreeing with me.  I imagine that a combination of factors are in place:  Perhaps the previous set (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-The-Sonatas-Violin-Piano/dp/B00064AF7I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1368561414&sr=8-3&keywords=pamela+frank+beethoven+violin+sonatas) was simply too middle of the road for my tastes; perhaps (I suspect this is a large part of it) I've mellowed out since the last time I've tried to give them a listen; it could also be the period instruments, though.  I find that the fortepiano to balance quite well with the violin.  In any case, I listened to the first five sonatas in a row last night, so I'd have to say that I disagree with the Amazon reviewer. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on May 15, 2013, 09:21:22 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UMrWIEQIL._SX300_.jpg)

I've never been a fan of Beethoven's sonatas for violin before, but this set is really agreeing with me.  I imagine that a combination of factors are in place:  Perhaps the previous set (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-The-Sonatas-Violin-Piano/dp/B00064AF7I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1368561414&sr=8-3&keywords=pamela+frank+beethoven+violin+sonatas) was simply too middle of the road for my tastes; perhaps (I suspect this is a large part of it) I've mellowed out since the last time I've tried to give them a listen; it could also be the period instruments, though. 

Based on my experience with the Franks's recording of Schubert's works for violin and piano,  I'd blame the recording.   The Schubert was very bland,  and I wouldn't be surprised if their Beethoven was just as blah.

If you're interesed in an MI performance,  I would suggest Faust/Melnikov.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on May 15, 2013, 09:25:30 AM
Based on my experience with the Franks's recording of Schubert's works for violin and piano,  I'd blame the recording.   The Schubert was very bland,  and I wouldn't be surprised if their Beethoven was just as blah.

If you're interesed in an MI performance,  I would suggest Faust/Melnikov.

What do you think of Zehetmair/Frager? (Is that a period performance? I don't know.)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on May 15, 2013, 10:09:18 AM
What do you think of Zehetmair/Frager? (Is that a period performance? I don't know.)

Sorry, don't have it.   But the idea of a Zehetmair performance sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on May 15, 2013, 11:22:15 AM
Based on my experience with the Franks's recording of Schubert's works for violin and piano,  I'd blame the recording.   The Schubert was very bland,  and I wouldn't be surprised if their Beethoven was just as blah.

If you're interesed in an MI performance,  I would suggest Faust/Melnikov.

You may be right:  At the time I didn't enjoy 'mellow' music the way I do now and that could have played a part for a significant portion of the sonatas, but I'm pretty sure that the performance didn't help.  If I recall correctly it was actually praised at the time for being the very definition of middle of the road and that approach doesn't always work well for me.

I'm not currently interested in an MI performance but if I was I would head straight for Faust based on previous good experience with her work.  (Her Brahms Violin Concerto/Sextet disc is excellent.)  Something to keep in mind for the future. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (: premont :) on May 15, 2013, 11:33:32 AM
What do you think of Zehetmair/Frager? (Is that a period performance? I don't know.)

Seems to be a partial PI recording, at least Frager is playing a  Broadwood & son 1805. Zehetmaiers violin is not specified.

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=4297514
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on May 25, 2013, 06:26:25 AM
While I'm ordering the Immerseel/Schroder set (which is so cheap that it's suspicious!),  I noticed this one, mentioned favorably in the lone Amazon review (who liked the Fluve and disliked this one) of the set I'm ordering.  Anyone know of it?

(Violin sonatas 5 and 9 by Evan Johnson and Anthony Newman)

Sorry for the slow response, but I just got around to listening it.

The first thing I notice is that Johnson's tone is very abrasive. I think that's at least partly due to engineering (close miking). Whatever the reason, it makes Kremer sound like Milstein. Technically he is not flawless but I can deal with that. On the plus side, and most importantly to me, I like his style, which is dynamic, musical, and confident.

Tempi are generally fast, especially in the Kreutzer, but don't sound rushed. They fluctuate quite a bit, but I didn't notice any egregious agogic hesitations. Vibrato is very minimal. All of which is fine with me.

Newman seemed rather straightforward in the slow movement of Spring but better elsewhere. As someone who missed his heyday and has none of his other recordings, I can't help but be intrigued by him. I get the feeling the serious-music industry treats him as the Virgil Fox of the HIP movement, which seems unfair or at least curious.

I probably wouldn't recommend this as a first version. But since you already have at least two others, go for it if you can handle the tone.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 13, 2013, 06:22:45 AM
Lubimov has moved over to Alpha, to record Opp. 27/2, 31/2 and 53.

https://soundcloud.com/outhere-music/beethoven-moonlight-sonata

I find it a tad hard to hear the 1802 Erard in the sample.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 13, 2013, 06:37:24 AM
Lubimov has moved over to Alpha, to record Opp. 27/2, 31/2 and 53.

https://soundcloud.com/outhere-music/beethoven-moonlight-sonata

I find it a tad hard to hear the 1802 Erard in the sample.

I thought it was wonderful! Compare, if you can, to the same piece in this earlier Lubimov CD (1994) which he plays on an 1806 Broadwood. The Erard has a much rounder and smoother tone, and I don't think it has broken strings like the Broadwood appears to have. Of course, if it was Beethoven's pianoforte, then the broken strings just add to the authenticity! :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/LvBLubimov3sonatasEratocover_zps9155b11f.jpg)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 13, 2013, 06:43:56 AM
I thought it was wonderful! Compare, if you can, to the same piece in this earlier Lubimov CD (1994) which he plays on an 1806 Broadwood. The Erard has a much rounder and smoother tone, and I don't think it has broken strings like the Broadwood appears to have. Of course, if it was Beethoven's pianoforte, then the broken strings just add to the authenticity! :)

8)

Will do. Just a day or two ago, I was reminded that it's been a while since I'd listened to the Erato recording. :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 13, 2013, 07:02:51 AM
Will do. Just a day or two ago, I was reminded that it's been a while since I'd listened to the Erato recording. :)

Yeah, I've always really liked it, but I don't rec it to people unless they are warped to the same degree I am. :)  But if you really like the sound of period pianos, this is a peach. I think the Erard sounded quite nice though. Thanks for the link, I'll likely snap that one up.

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on July 13, 2013, 07:28:22 AM
Lubimov has moved over to Alpha, to record Opp. 27/2, 31/2 and 53.

https://soundcloud.com/outhere-music/beethoven-moonlight-sonata

I find it a tad hard to hear the 1802 Erard in the sample.

Thanks, Nav. It's a glorious fortepiano, full of delightful colours, lights and shadows. Obviously, Lubimov has something to do with that, too.   ;D

I think it will be a mandatory acquisition.  :)

P.S.: Maybe your PC needs some upgrade.  :D


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on July 14, 2013, 12:21:22 AM
Oh, one more:

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on July 14, 2013, 12:27:41 AM
Oh, one more:



Nice.  :) I generally like Vermeulen.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on October 04, 2013, 12:53:04 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/535/MI0003535575.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
This has received a good review on Music Web. It looks interesting.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on October 04, 2013, 12:58:39 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/535/MI0003535575.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
This has received a good review on Music Web. It looks interesting.

Thanks for alerting us. They are potentially losing a lot of customers by not informing the fans of the 'periodness' of the performances, on the cover.

MusicWeb review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Oct13/Beethoven_triple_CC72579.html)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on October 04, 2013, 01:28:17 AM
Thanks for alerting us. They are potentially losing a lot of customers by not informing the fans of the 'periodness' of the performances, on the cover.

MusicWeb review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Oct13/Beethoven_triple_CC72579.html)
I was a bit confused by this. It seems that their previous recordings of Beethoven and Schubert are not period. I wonder why a group would jump into period recording when their previous recordings of the same period are modern. Anyway, I'm listening to the trio now. The other one I have is Immerseel/Bylsma/Beths. It's very different I think. Storioni seems more stately, understated and "classical" sounding. But also more angular. I'm trying to get over liking only what I'm used to and I'm very used to the Immerseel recording. I think I like Immerseel better. It's more "atmospheric" - both in the performance and recording sound. Immerseel is moodier and darker. This is maybe due to the fuller sound of Immerseel's fortepiano as well as Bylsma's prominence. But I want to get to the Triple. I'm not aware of any other period recording of the triple - actually (though I'm sure someone here will correct me).   
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on October 04, 2013, 02:13:11 AM
So far this orchestra and de Vries didn't use period instruments. But I don't know this disk.

I like this sentence of the review quoted by Navneeth: "Likewise the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra play on historically informed instruments".  :laugh:
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Opus106 on October 04, 2013, 02:21:32 AM
So far this orchestra and de Vries didn't use period instruments. But I don't know this disk.

De Vriend leads the period ensemble Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, and I have listened to the broadcasts of some of their concerts; so we know at least the band leader has some experience in the matter of HIPPI.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on October 04, 2013, 02:28:33 AM
De Vriend leads the period ensemble Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, and I have listened to the broadcasts of some of their concerts; so we know at least the band leader has some experience in the matter of HIPPI.

No doubt. He is excellent and very interested in historical performance practices. But not so much in period instruments, I think.

Anyway, it's a bit weird to write "historically informed instruments".  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Wanderer on October 04, 2013, 02:38:40 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/535/MI0003535575.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
This has received a good review on Music Web. It looks interesting.

The "Archduke" Trio in this recording is merely average; however, the Triple Concerto is superb. The orchestra attacks with delicious vehemence (among the finest orchestral contributions to this concerto, ever) and the soloists are great.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on October 04, 2013, 03:02:47 AM
"If" the information provided by the reviewer were right, this would be the second recording of the Triple Concerto played on period instruments available on CD.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on October 04, 2013, 04:24:31 AM
So far this orchestra and de Vries didn't use period instruments. But I don't know this disk.

I like this sentence of the review quoted by Navneeth: "Likewise the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra play on historically informed instruments".  :laugh:
It's been a long week and I didn't read this carefully at all. I totally misread that phrase. I thought it was all period instruments. Well, this is a somewhat weird combination of recordings then.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on October 04, 2013, 04:32:33 AM
No doubt. He is excellent and very interested in historical performance practices. But not so much in period instruments, I think.

Anyway, it's a bit weird to write "historically informed instruments".  :)
Hmm. It's certainly a hilarious thing to write. Could it mean that the instruments aren't necessarily original, and there are some new copies of the period instruments?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on October 04, 2013, 04:39:59 AM
Hmm. It's certainly a hilarious thing to write. Could it mean that the instruments aren't necessarily original, and there are some new copies of the period instruments?
Well, John Lennon said he could make a guitar speak, so...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Pat B on October 04, 2013, 08:47:51 AM
I'm not aware of any other period recording of the triple - actually (though I'm sure someone here will correct me).   
There is a version by Badura-Skoda and Bylsma with Collegium Aureum (whose leader Maier is the violinist). ASIN B000001TWP or B004QIVWYU. For a while it was going for $30+ dollars. I picked up a copy recently but haven't had a chance to listen yet.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gordo on October 04, 2013, 07:23:25 PM
Hmm. It's certainly a hilarious thing to write. Could it mean that the instruments aren't necessarily original, and there are some new copies of the period instruments?

No, I don't think so. Conventionally, people interested in period instruments comprehend into this expression (I mean the expression "period instruments") both originals and replicas.  :)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on October 04, 2013, 11:09:06 PM
No, I don't think so. Conventionally, people interested in period instruments comprehend into this expression (I mean the expression "period instruments") both originals and replicas.  :)
Yes, that is what is usually used for replicas, too. As the orchestra is Netherlands SO, perhaps it's more likely that it just means that their playing is historically informed.  :-\
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on October 20, 2013, 06:25:46 AM
I just noticed this:
(http://www.french-music.org/tl_files/img_covers/AlexeiLubimov_Beethoven_web.jpg)
...pending immanent release.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on January 23, 2014, 02:22:49 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jlt60kQ6L._SL1000_.jpg)
There are some pretty good HIP recordings of these works already out there (and in my collection). So, I'm wondering if this recording is
revelatory. Some thing close to that will induce me to get it.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on January 23, 2014, 02:33:43 AM
You can always sample it here (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67981/2) - it might prove to be hazardous to your bank account, though.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on January 23, 2014, 04:26:15 AM
You can always sample it here (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67981/2) - it might prove to be hazardous to your bank account, though.
They do sound interesting.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on January 25, 2014, 03:50:03 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jlt60kQ6L._SL1000_.jpg)
There are some pretty good HIP recordings of these works already out there (and in my collection). So, I'm wondering if this recording is
revelatory. Some thing close to that will induce me to get it.
Well, I'm very happy with this purchase. The sound quality is great. It's a very realistic, somewhat dry soundscape. I'm not equipped to give a musicological review of any sort. But these are very fresh, interesting and very intimate performances - definitely a different take on the music than Bilson/Bylsma or, perhaps, Zivian/Tomkins. They are thoughtful and, I think, they find something new to say in the period performance realm. I'm interested to hear what some of the musically literate folks here will have to say about the playing. I am guessing some folks here will want to hear these performances. 
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on March 16, 2014, 04:30:50 PM
Jus downloaded this: (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/688/MI0003688041.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
They use period instruments.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 16, 2014, 04:53:29 PM
Jus downloaded this: (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/688/MI0003688041.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
They use period instruments.

Now, that looks interesting. And we needed another Archduke/Ghost recording too! :D  But seriously, the players must balance that out, I don't know the pianist, but Faust and Queyras are tops. It would promote less confusion if they would have said 'pianoforte'. Otherwise I would have been scratching my head, since Faust and Queyras go both ways (so to speak). Thanks for heading that off. :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on March 16, 2014, 05:23:09 PM
That is confusing since they're not HIPsters.  Do traditionalists performing on period instruments automatically make a performance period style?

btw I'm not knocking the ability of those amazing musicians.  I'm just scratching my head.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on March 16, 2014, 05:30:11 PM
Now, that looks interesting. And we needed another Archduke/Ghost recording too! :D  But seriously, the players must balance that out, I don't know the pianist, but Faust and Queyras are tops. It would promote less confusion if they would have said 'pianoforte'. Otherwise I would have been scratching my head, since Faust and Queyras go both ways (so to speak). Thanks for heading that off. :)

8)
Melnikov has a highly regarded recording of Shostakovich's preludes and fugues. Yeah, they don't help us with a hint on the cover.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 16, 2014, 05:35:02 PM
That is confusing since they're not HIPsters.  Do traditionalists performing on period instruments automatically make a performance period style?

btw I'm not knocking the ability of those amazing musicians.  I'm just scratching my head.

Queyras is. He does a great Haydn and Vivaldi (IIRC)  too, both on Baroque cello and in period style. He is a switch hitter, as is Faust.

The lines are getting blurred, I think. In any case, PI doesn't make HIP anymore than MI can really be HIP, IMO.   

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 16, 2014, 05:39:42 PM
Queyras is. He does a great Haydn and Vivaldi (IIRC)  too, both on Baroque cello and in period style. He is a switch hitter, as is Faust.

The lines are getting blurred, I think. In any case, PI doesn't make HIP anymore than MI can really be HIP, IMO.   

8)

Yes, I thought I remembered this one:



Despite being off topic, still, goes to his cred, your honor...  :)

8)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on March 16, 2014, 05:41:47 PM
That is confusing since they're not HIPsters.  Do traditionalists performing on period instruments automatically make a performance period style?

btw I'm not knocking the ability of those amazing musicians.  I'm just scratching my head.
I just realized that I have a HIP recording of Queyras playing Beethoven's #3 and 5 trios with Staier and Sepec. I see that Melnikov released a HIP Brahms recording. Somewhere in the info for this Beethoven release it says that the fortepiano is owned by Melnikov. I didn't know Faust had any HIP recordings. As Gurn said, they "go both ways (so to speak)."   
(http://i.ytimg.com/vi/lOXyBG9z2_o/0.jpg)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: DavidW on March 16, 2014, 06:32:05 PM
I'm astonished!  Those are flexible musicians.  I'm also an idiot to not recognize a recording that I know full well.  I guess I always thought if it as Staier and friends.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on March 16, 2014, 10:15:39 PM
They're all HIPsters, but can play on modern instruments too - old or new music. Queyras' solo Bach is played on a cello with a modern setup because it was connected with his project of commissioning modern composers to write preludes to be played before each suite. Faust's solo violin Bach is PI.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Geo Dude on June 11, 2014, 06:31:22 PM
Any reasonably in print recordings of the violin sonatas to complement the Immerseel/Schroeder set?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 11, 2015, 06:31:05 AM
Do the Diabelli Variations come anywhere close to the Goldberg Variations in terms of musical genius in anyone's opinion?

Yes.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Jo498 on November 11, 2015, 07:03:43 AM
The Goldbergs are more "systematic" and maybe technically more impressive (all those canons, invention-like free counterpoint and stuff) but for me the Diabellis are at least as inventive in their way and more fun. (I was not completely convinced by the only "period" Diabellis (Staier's) I have heard, though.)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on November 11, 2015, 08:10:43 AM
Is there anything serious and interesting in common between the Goldbergs and Diabellies.  I mean, I know they both have the same number of tracks, but apart from that is there anything else?

I remember someone saying to me that Beethoven was influenced by the Goldberg variations, but I can't remember the argument.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Jo498 on November 11, 2015, 09:07:07 AM
The Diabellis should have 2 more tracks: Theme + 33 Variations vs. Aria - 30 Variations - Aria da capo.
It seems that Beethoven knew the Goldberg variations and maybe he came up with such a large number to claim a similar status for his work. It is also often said that Var. 31 refers to GBV 25.

Lately it occurred to me that the variations in op.109 could already have been an hommage to the GBV because of the sarabande-like theme (and the literal dacapo in the end)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on November 11, 2015, 06:29:50 PM
The Goldbergs are more "systematic" and maybe technically more impressive (all those canons, invention-like free counterpoint and stuff) but for me the Diabellis are at least as inventive in their way and more fun. (I was not completely convinced by the only "period" Diabellis (Staier's) I have heard, though.)

You might try Schiff's ECM dual recording....one on a period instrument, the other on a modern.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: milk on November 12, 2015, 04:19:37 AM
You might try Schiff's ECM dual recording....one on a period instrument, the other on a modern.
Gary Cooper is good also.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: JCBuckley on November 12, 2015, 08:03:26 AM
Lately it occurred to me that the variations in op.109 could already have been an hommage to the GBV because of the sarabande-like theme (and the literal dacapo in the end)

Do you know Jeremy Denk's recording of the Goldbergs? In lieu of sleeve-notes it has an excellent DVD of Denk talking about the music - he has interesting things to say about the relationship between the GBV and the late Beethoven piano music.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Jo498 on November 12, 2015, 08:19:12 AM
No, I don't know this one and it does sound interesting, thanks! Although I am not really in the market for another GBV recording on piano... there is a teaser on ytube, but that's only about Bach...
The GBV must have been known among the connoisseurs in the early 19th century, not only among composers like Beethoven who were especially interested in Bach. There is a "Kapellmeister Kreisler" story by E.T.A. Hoffmann where Kreisler is asked to play the GBV for a bourgeois audience and he enters some trance-like state and keeps going for hours or so, forgetting the audience [most of them actually left becasue they were overtaxed by the music not quite as entertaining as they had expected] and phantasizing more and more new variations. EDIT: This is apparently the first piece in the so-called "Kreisleriana": "Johannes Kreisler's, des Kapellmeisters musikalische Leiden" (The musical sufferings of Johannes Kreisler, master of music)

I am not really looking for another DV either, although I had the Schiff on my radar already when it came out, I later decided that a dozen or so recordings of the piece was enough for the time being. (I also found the two discs I have from Schiff's Beethoven sonatas (opp.10,13,27,28) not completely convincing; I found his lectures (they were on the Guardian website several years ago) more interesting than the recordings...)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on November 12, 2015, 08:34:18 AM
There is a "Kapellmeister Kreisler" story by E.T.A. Hoffmann where Kreisler is asked to play the GBV for a bourgeois audience and he enters some trance-like state and keeps going for hours or so, forgetting the audience and phantasizing more and more new variations.

Hah!

Quote from: Wikipedia
In 1921, at age 17, [Rudolf Serkin] made his Berlin debut performing in [Adolf] Busch's ensemble as the keyboard soloist in the Brandenburg Concerto no. 5. At the end of the concert, Busch told Serkin to play an encore to the enthusiastic audience. Serkin later reported that he asked Busch, "What shall I play?" and Busch "as a joke" told him to play The Goldberg Variations "and I took him seriously. When I finished there were only four people left: Adolf Busch, Artur Schnabel, Alfred Einstein and me."[2]
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2015, 08:54:08 AM
That Serkin story underscores the importance of knowing with whom you're joking . . . .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on November 12, 2015, 09:16:22 AM
That Serkin story underscores the importance of knowing with whom you're joking . . . .

I would instantly consent to my son´s marrying any girl he pleases on the condition she plays the Goldberg Variations as encore after her debut recital.  :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2015, 09:29:59 AM
The "Farewell" Encore . . . .
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on November 12, 2015, 09:38:09 AM
The "Farewell" Encore . . . .

Oh, no, not at all... the "debut" encore --- she at the piano and my son at the violin will be at least as good and famous as Haskil / Szeryng or Oistrakh / Oborin or Szigeti / Arrau...


Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 12, 2015, 09:47:26 AM
Hah!

That's nothing. Busoni hated to perform at parties, but once he was so badgered to play after a dinner that he sat down at the piano and played all five Beethoven late sonatas.

I don't know if he played an encore.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on November 12, 2015, 09:53:51 AM
That's nothing. Busoni hated to perform at parties, but once he was so badgered to play after a dinner that he sat down at the piano and played all five Beethoven late sonatas.

Is there any recording of that?  :D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Leo K. on December 05, 2015, 05:11:40 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GsK6B22LL.jpg)

It's been many years since I heard Gardiner's Beethoven. I wasn't a fan. Yet, upon hearing this wonderful recording, I decided a re-listen to Gardiner's account of the symphonies is in order.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: amw on December 12, 2015, 03:13:29 PM
Are there any period instrument versions of the Piano Concertos that use Beethoven's cadenzas instead of relying on the (generally inferior) improvisation skills of the (20th-21st century) pianist?

(I mean, Beethoven literally wrote his cadenzas as a guide to how to improvise your own for other pianists of his day who were less skilled. Though not exactly contemporary with the concertos themselves, they're only a decade or so later, and I'd have thought they'd be much more historically accurate than the improvisations of a contemporary pianist who didn't grow up with that tradition at all.)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 13, 2015, 09:22:34 AM
Good question... I know Schoonderwoerd didn't use Beethoven's cadenzas, neither did Van Immerseel....

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on December 13, 2015, 01:00:28 PM
Schoonderwoerd

If you ask me, his Beethoven´s PC series is the worst recording of anything, by anyone, ever.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: kishnevi on December 13, 2015, 01:01:47 PM
Beethoven's cadenzas are used in this set, per the track listings


I am posting this issue because 1)I have it  and 2)It is the most complete set (Choral Fantasy is not included on the alternate reissues)
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 13, 2015, 03:02:21 PM
If you ask me, his Beethoven´s PC series is the worst recording of anything, by anyone, ever.  ;D ;D ;D

Hallelujah! someone's got their ears on straight!  :) ;D :laugh:
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: SimonNZ on December 13, 2015, 03:19:34 PM
If you ask me, his Beethoven´s PC series is the worst recording of anything, by anyone, ever.  ;D ;D ;D

I thought they were a fascinating exercise. They exposed as many limitations to the idea as there were positive aspects, and was attempted with intelligence and sincerity, not as the more usual enfant terrible. They made a good provocative think-piece which helped me clarify what I like and expect from HIP Beethoven and why, even if I never need to hear them again in the near future.

Of course they shouldn't be anyone's first or only Beethoven PC set... and I was shaking my head and laughing all the way through the Emperor.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 13, 2015, 07:32:04 PM
Of course they shouldn't be anyone's first or only Beethoven PC set... and I was shaking my head and laughing all the way through the Emperor.

Sounds like said Emperor has no clothes.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Brian on December 13, 2015, 08:04:10 PM
If you ask me, his Beethoven´s PC series is the worst recording of anything, by anyone, ever.  ;D ;D ;D

Back when GMG first got into that Schoonderwoerd series, I bought in whole-heartedly - it's a revelation! it's so new and fresh and exciting! - but after that excitement wore off, a year or two passed, and I listened again, my reaction was more like horror. Brutally ugly and (given the tiny size of the "orchestra") historically so inaccurate as to be useless.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: amw on December 14, 2015, 12:35:54 AM
Beethoven's cadenzas are used in this set, per the track listings
Thanks for the heads up. Norrington's Beethoven Symphonies are definitely my cuppa (except the last quarter of the 9th to an extent) and at some point in the future, most likely when my Qobuz subscription expires/the site goes bankrupt, I'll probably invest in the full symphonies+concertos set. Listening to No. 1 now.

Hallelujah! someone's got their ears on straight!  :) ;D :laugh:
I've listened to the Schoonderwoerd set (or most of it anyway). My conclusions were that the sound quality was really good.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on December 14, 2015, 01:18:29 AM
(given the tiny size of the "orchestra") historically so inaccurate .

You may just be wrong about that.

Have you read Stefan Weinzierl's book? I think he's a well regarded scholar. His was the scholarship which influenced Schoonderwoerd the most.  (I don't read German so I can't read the book.)

Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on December 14, 2015, 01:27:14 AM
You may just be wrong about that.

Have you read Stefan Weinzierl's book?  (I don't read German so I can't)

Is there any reliable evidence (evidence, not speculation) for the concertos being ever performed one-voice-per-part?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on December 14, 2015, 01:57:07 AM
I've listened to the Schoonderwoerd set (or most of it anyway). My conclusions were that the sound quality was really good.

The sound quality is good indeed, too good, actually, since it´s cleverly engineered to make the string quintet sound like a full orchestra --- and this in itself is bad enough, first because it is an unnatural sound and secondly, if Schoonwoerd really believes that the concertos were in fact octets or nonets, why the need to make them sound grander than that? The whole concept is so fuzzy and farfetched...
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on December 14, 2015, 05:05:35 AM
The sound quality is good indeed, too good, actually, since it´s cleverly engineered to make the string quintet sound like a full orchestra --- and this in itself is bad enough, first because it is an unnatural sound and secondly, if Schoonwoerd really believes that the concertos were in fact octets or nonets, why the need to make them sound grander than that? The whole concept is so fuzzy and farfetched...
Cleverly engineered, or just recorded in an appropriately sized room with a period fortepiano that isn't too loud?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on December 14, 2015, 05:13:11 AM
Cleverly engineered, or just recorded in an appropriately sized room with a period fortepiano that isn't too loud?

The "Emperor" was premiered at Gewandhaus. This fact alone should give Schoonderwoerd pause.  ;D
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on December 14, 2015, 05:55:09 AM
The "Emperor" was premiered at Gewandhaus. This fact alone should give Schoonderwoerd pause.  ;D
Ah yes, I was thinking of No. 4, premiered at Prince Lobkowitz's home.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Florestan on December 14, 2015, 06:08:32 AM
Ah yes, I was thinking of No. 4, premiered at Prince Lobkowitz's home.

"Home" might be too misleading a term for what is really a palace featuring a dedicated concert hall.  :D

On that event the Coriolan Overture and the Fourth Symphony were also premiered. Would Schoonderwoerd make the case for them being played with the same tiny forces, I wonder? Or for Eroica, premiered in the same venue?

However one would consider the matter, Schoonderwoerd doesn´t have much of a case for his approach.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on December 14, 2015, 07:18:34 AM
Or for Eroica, premiered in the same venue?



28 players for the Eroica if I remember right. How many does Schoonderwoerd use for op 58? I don't have the CD booklet so I can't check. Online I found a reference to 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, and a contrabass, but I don't know how many for winds, brass, and timpani.

It would also be interesting to confirm whether the engineers  miked the strings,  or otherwise fiddled with the sound, or whether the balance is natural for the venue. If it is natural, it's very interesting indeed.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 14, 2015, 07:49:27 AM
28 players for the Eroica if I remember right. How many does Schoonderwoerd use for op 58? I don't have the CD booklet so I can't check. Online I found a reference to 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, and a contrabass, but I don't know how many for winds, brass, and timpani.

The blessings of physical reality:  :D
2 violins, 2 violas, 2 violoncellos, 1 double bass, 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and pianoforte. That makes for no. 4 a total of 20, an extra flute is used for no. 5.

I don't think the miking is doctered, but just quite close - taking into account the close proximity of the audience in the hall of the Lobkowitz Palace.

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: North Star on December 14, 2015, 07:49:59 AM
"Home" might be too misleading a term for what is really a palace featuring a dedicated concert hall.  :D

On that event the Coriolan Overture and the Fourth Symphony were also premiered. Would Schoonderwoerd make the case for them being played with the same tiny forces, I wonder? Or for Eroica, premiered in the same venue?

However one would consider the matter, Schoonderwoerd doesn´t have much of a case for his approach.
Well, refreshing my memory from Schoonderwoerd's liner notes, he says the concert hall measures (LWH) 16m*7m*7½m, or 900 m3, and had 24 places for musicians and 18 places for listeners. So a concert hall might be too misleading a term for what is really quite a small room, and we tend to think of something bigger when thinking about 'concert halls'. Schoonderwoerd also mentions that the Piano Concerto no. 5 was performed numerously in private performances in this kind of music rooms Vienna in 1810 and 1811, before the first public performance in Kärtnertor Theater (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theater_am_Kärntnertor), with Czerny as the soloist. Not that vast a space either, although based on that drawing it is perhaps possible that quite a large orchestra fitted there.

Regarding the Kärtnertor concert, a quote from Schoonderwoerd's liner notes:
Quote from: Carl Czerny
"Now I must perform one of your most complex compositions! And indeed in the most dangerous hall that exists for pianists! For this instrument the great ballroom is the most unthankful place and all the pianists who have played there to this day have regretted it"
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 14, 2015, 10:16:13 AM
2 violins, 2 violas, 2 violoncellos, 1 double bass

This is misleading: the 2 physical violins are playing two different parts, violin 1 and 2, so that the string distribution on the recording is really 1 violin 1, 1 violin 2, 2 violas, etc.

I cannot accept this distribution as historically credible since numerous records exist to show that orchestras in this period were violin-heavy. Here are some examples from page 70 of Joan Peyser (ed.)'s "The Orchestra":
Dresden - 8.7.4.4.3
Mannheim - 10-11.10-11.4.4.4
Milan - 14.14.6.2.6
Paris - 13.11.4.10.4

Today's larger orchestras of course follow this general pattern, a typical distribution being something like 16.16.10.10.8. One thing is certain: the 4th concerto requires at least 2 cellos, as there are places that specifically call for a single cello. If there were 24 places for musicians at the Palace, I would believe a string distribution of 3.3.2.2.1, or at least 2.2.2.2.1 if room were needed for the piano. But 1.1.2.2.1? Absolutely no way.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on December 14, 2015, 10:57:39 AM
But in fact the balances on the recording seem to work, the strings aren't drowned by the brass as you would expect. That's why I was keen to know how truthful the recording is.

What would be the consequences of doubling or tripling the violins, if the balances work fine with just two? Would it be easier to play in tune? Is anyone concerned about the intonation on the op 58 recording?
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Que on December 14, 2015, 11:05:24 AM
This is misleading: the 2 physical violins are playing two different parts, violin 1 and 2, so that the string distribution on the recording is really 1 violin 1, 1 violin 2, 2 violas, etc.

Mea culpa. That was not my intention.
According to the booklet the violas and violoncellos are "divided" (over different parts).

Q
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: Mandryka on December 14, 2015, 11:11:15 AM
I would believe a string distribution of 3.3.2.2.1, or at least 2.2.2.2.1 if room were needed for the piano. But 1.1.2.2.1? Absolutely no way.

Your distributions alter the balance of the strings; my guess is that that is something to do with why he chose 1.1.2.2.1.
Title: Re: Beethoven in Period Performances
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 14, 2015, 11:48:29 AM
Your distributions alter the balance of the strings.

No, they do not. They correct the imbalance on the recording, and bring the distribution closer to stand